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200 Miles From the Citi


February 26, 2012 12:33 AM

Making The Big Time, Like It Or Not

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Sunday Paper (Year 4, Volume IX)

As you know, John and I (as well as the Southern Bureau and Dave In Ann Arbor) went to Boston University.  While we all got first class educations, made amazing friends and had experiences that helped shape our lives, our college experiences weren't 100% ideal.  Our school lacked a first class athletic department.

As Dave pointed out last week, there were no tailgate parties before football games.  There were no appearances by ESPN ahead of big regular season basketball games against conference rivals.  There were no pre-draft events, waiting for our top players to join the NFL and NBA.

What BU has is hockey.  The Terriers are one of the top programs in the country, having won a number of national titles, the most recent in 2009.  Whenever my friends who went to more traditional sports powers make fun of BU athletics, I've always used the hockey team as a retort.  But, I knew and they knew, it was just words.  As proud as I am of BU hockey, it's not the same as a big-time program like Maryland basketball or Notre Dame football.

At least it wasn't until this week.  Deadspin profiled the program on Thursday. The New York Times wrote about it on Friday.  Earlier this season, BU's top scorer was thrown off the team after he was charged with sexual assault inside a dorm.  Last weekend, another player was charged with rape.  Now there are questions about a team run amok and a school culture that may have let it happen.

We're finally following in the footsteps of big time athletic schools like Oklahoma, Miami, and Penn State.

Ugh.

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*Rex Ryan came out this week to say he wouldn't be making a Super Bowl guarantee this year. It barely merited a mention in New York.  After 3 years of dominating the local football press with his big talk and big belly, I'm not sure there's currently a less relevant figure in New York sports.  It's amazing what a crosstown championship can do to deflate such a huge personality.

*Here in New York, we went straight from Eli Manning's Super Bowl win to the Jeremy Lin hysteria (I'm not saying 'Linsanity'.  I'm officially done with the term 'Linsanity'.) and soon, we'll begin focusing on Derek Jeter and A-Rod.  (And I guess David Wright? It's a Mets site.  I'll give you this one.)  In the midst of all this, Mike Sielski at the Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article about the best professional athlete in New York.  Who is it?  Here's a hint.  He's led his team to the top of the conference this season and he wasn't mentioned above.  I hadn't thought about it until the article came out, but Sielski's absolutely right.  Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is the best athlete in the Big Apple, and he has been for a few years now.

*It's Oscar day.  I haven't seen any of the movies nominated for Best Picture.  In fact, I think this may have been the most boring Oscar season in years.  Yet, for some reason, people insist on talking about it anyway.  So, I've managed to make it fun for myself.  Anytime someone mentions a nominee I haven't heard of (and there are plenty), I respond by saying, "Oh, is that the black lady from "The Help"?

For example:
"What do you think of Rooney Mara?"
"Oh, is that the black lady from 'The Help'?"

"Did you like Janet McTeer?"
"Oh, is that the black lady from 'The Help'?"

"How about that June Dujardin?"
"Oh, is that the black lady from 'The Help'?"

"Did you enjoy Viola Davis's perfomance?"
"While I did not see her in this particular film, I have long admired Ms. Davis's ability to really lose herself in a character and reflect an inner strength while playing women who struggle through life's challenges."

See? Endless fun!

*Speaking of Sunday Papers, here's a good Joe Jackson song by that title.

(Justin is better known around the site as 'Justin From Sports Crackle Pop!', which I link to often because of his entertaining SI Reviews...and this brilliant 'Saturday Night Live' episode he wrote, which I hadn't linked to yet.  He lives in New York and you can follow him on Twitter @Justin_SCP.  This is the second of four consecutive Sunday Papers written by my close friends as I get the creative juices flowing again.  Next Sunday you'll hear from the Southern Bureau.)

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