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Here are some questions that might remain unanswered if the COVID-19 threat continues into the summer.
Whither the Bruins and Celtics? The Bruins, save for one dip around Christmas, seem to be highly motivated after last spring’s Stanley Cup final loss. Their two big flaws — overtime and shootouts — appear to have been solved. And outside of the usual questions about Tuukka Rask, they seemed poised for a repeat run at least into the finals.
Now what? This year is taking on the vibe of the 1994 baseball strike season, when the Montreal Expos (with Lynn’s Ken Hill as one of the major pitchers on the staff, along with Pedro Martinez) looked like the best team in all of baseball.
We all know how that turned out. It would be a shame — a real shame — if the Bruins’ potential championship season got derailed.
This is a national emergency, and you have to do what you have to do. But there is ancillary fallout from all this, and the Bruins would qualify as major victims.
Not so much the Celtics, however. You got the feeling, at the time the NBA shut down, that they’d gone as far as they were going to go. The rest of the season lined up as a struggle as Kemba Walker teetered back and forth between available and unavailable. They may have gone a couple rounds deep, but that would have been the end of it.
If there’s a team that perhaps benefits from uncertainty over whether there will be a season, it’s your Boston Red Sox. That’s because things are already uncertain enough with them.
As usual, ownership was absolutely tone deaf is trading Mookie Betts to satisfy salary cap goals. And Chris Sale appears headed for Tommy John surgery (the only ones who seem to be unaware of this is the team medical staff; thank goodness those people aren’t in charge of coming up with a coronavirus strategy).
It looked as if it would be a long summer, and perhaps the season will start up in enough time for us to get some answers about this team.
In the meantime, “out of sight, out of mind” is about the best thing you can say about the situation.
Because of the way the calendar falls, the NFL hasn’t missed a beat. Yet. The Patriots agreed to terms with Devin McCourty, which is a good thing, and we all wait with baited breath to find out what Tom Brady’s going to do.
It appears one place he won’t go is Tennessee, where the Titans re-signed Ryan Tannehill. To tell you the truth, I figured Tennessee would be the most logical stop for Brady if he was going to leave here, because I can’t see Tannehill being the answer to anything other than “who’s the best middling quarterback in the NFL?”
But Tennessee has rising star Derrick Henry in the backfield, so perhaps a middling quarterback is all the Titans need at this point (and I’m sorry, folks, but Brady is fast becoming one of those). And I really don’t see another team out there that needs a quarterback with enough boxes or Brady to check. None of them have someone like Brady as the only missing ingredient.
Problem is, the Patriots need to start developing someone, and fast, or they’ll be doomed to a decade of Tampa Bay-hood.
And I’m sure that’s just what Bill Belichick wants.
Just one final thing, and it’s this:
Athletes seem to be given a lot of perks in schools. They seem to get most-favored status a lot of the time because of their talents, and because of the glory and notoriety those talents bring to their schools.
It’s all wonderful — until it’s taken away from them.
Coaches Jeff Newhall (St. Mary’s) and Antonio Anderson (English) said all the right things when the MIAA decided to cancel their state championship basketball games Saturday. But it had to kill them both — not because they might be denied their own glory, but because they saw how hard their kids worked to get to their state championship games.
This isn’t to second-guess the MIAA for making the decision to pull the plug on the games. But let’s not minimize what it cost the players. They made great sacrifices to get to that point and it would have been nice if they’d been able to see things through.
In fairness, there are a lot of drama clubs, robotics clubs, and others who find their members in the same boat. There are kids who will most likely miss their spring seasons; seniors who will never get that opportunity to be captains or leaders on their team; and boys and girls who will be deprived of doing that which they love — whatever it is.
And in the line of (hopefully) good sportsmanship and good wishes, let’s please heed the pleas of the medical community and stay inside, resist congregating in large numbers, and put yourself on the 15-day disabled list if you’re sick.
Someone, somewhere will thank you.
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Boston Celtics’ Kemba Walker plays against against the Oklahoma City Thunder during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (AP)
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