Friday, June 6, 2008

Celtics grab game 1; Tampa the new Yankees?

Boston was witness to a great sport day yesterday. First there was a baseball game played between fisticuffs and secondly, we witnessed a Bird-like performance from Paul Pierce as the Celtics beat the Lakers in game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Getting home slightly after six from work, I had about three hours to kill before the game started at nine. I could barely contain myself. I was so jacked for the Celtics game that I didn't want to waste time online, didn't want to read anything, didn't want to blog, didn't want to twit. I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted the damn game to start. In the meantime, I watched the Red Sox Tampa game.

Glad I do. Hold drama.

Tempers were boiling before the start of yesterday's game as there was a heated exchange between Coco Crisp and the manager of the Rays over what was called a dirty play by Coco in the previous game. Basically, Crisp was blocked from sliding into second on a play and he jammed his finger. The next time Coco slide into second, he came in high, legs and arms flailing in order to take out the Tampa second baseman. I don't think it was a bush league play as some have called it. I've seen worse incidents at second.

Fast forward to last night and when Coco gets up for the first time, he gets drilled in the ribs. He starts to trot up to first, then drops the helmet and blasts to the pitchers mound. What I thought was interesting in this fight was that Coco was clearly outmatched. Sheilds, the Tampa pitcher, is a much bigger guy. As Coco arrives to greet Sheids, the pitcher unloads a haymaker similar to what Marvin Hagglar would have. However, Coco dipped out of the way, making Sheilds fan on the punch. Then Coco connects with a left jab to the side of Sheilds head/shoulder area (Coco was just too short to connect squarely to the face. Then the catcher jumps on Coco. After that, it was your typical baseball fight where both sides are clawing at each other, etc. The one difference was that three other players - yea, three - jumped in on the Coco scrum and started to take punches at Coco while he was at the bottom of the pile. Now that was REALLY bushleague stuff.

Needless to say, I'll be paying closer attention to the Sox Tampa games this year. It'll be interesting next time they face them or if they face them in the playoffs imagine that, Tampa in the playoffs).

So finally, finally, the Celtics Lakers game starts and the introductions get me so amped I'm ready to suit up and do battle with Kobe. I'll give him six hard fouls. That would be my job. Defensive bull. Foul giver. Hack-a-Kobe. Just put me in coach.

Well, my dream didn't happen. I watched it on the plasma and man, I wasn't dissapointed.

The collective Celtics world was in shock as we saw Pierce being helped off the court and then in a wheel chair with an apparent knee injury. But in pure Bird fashion, Pierce emerges from the lockeroom, gets back into the game and proceeds to nail two back to back three pointers that absolutely ignite the crowd. We didn't look back from there. The Celtics, with some clutch free-throws and fantastic team defense, held off Mr. MVP and Co.

Game two Sunday. I'm already started to feel the blood pressure rise and my jacked-up-o-meter started to move.

Maybe a few Sox Tampa games will keep me at bay until then.


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