Tag Archives: Boston sports

Five Questions with…Ryan Gentry of CPR Gear

Cross posted from the new …On Being a Sports Girl

Ryan Gentry is a devoted Boston sports fan, despite relocating several years ago to Southern California. The co-founder of up-and-coming sports fan wear company CPR Gear, Gentry saw a need for fan wear that was hip and spoke to the intense nature of New England sports fans. He founded CPR Gear – “The Heartbeat of New England” – in 2008, and his line has attracted all sorts of attention from several teams and many fans. CPR Gear may stand for “Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox,” but Gentry is quick to point out that the Bruins and all other teams are included as well – his line represents more of the devotion and dedication of New England fans as a whole, rather than individual teams.

I had a great phone conversation with Gentry a few weeks back, and he agreed to be one of my first “Five questions with…” subjects. Here’s the interview! Continue reading

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Well, This Just Stinks – CN8 Shutting Down, According to Sources

Updated below with comment from Comcast Sports Net.

A big blow to Boston University and University of Vermont hockey fans – according to David Scott, of Scott’s Shots (one of my favorite sports blogs, by the way – when he speaks, I listen),
CN8 will be shuttering it’s New England operations. This includes closing the studios right across from the College of Fine Arts building on the BU campus.

Both BU and UVM had contracts with CN8 for broadcast rights to several men’s hockey games. CN8 was to televise six remaining men’s hockey games –

Dec. 5 vs. Boston College (CN8)
Jan. 3 at Denver Cup (CN8)
Jan. 17 vs. Boston College (CN8)
Jan. 24 at New Hampshire (CN8)
Feb. 21 at Northeastern (CN8)
Feb. 28 vs. Massachusetts (CN8)

According to Scott, CN8’s operations will cease in “early Janaury 2009,” leaving five of those six games without a TV home. Scott does say, however, that Comcast Sports Net may pick up the sports programming. However, their primary responsibility is to the Celtics, so I worry that college hockey might get lost in the shuffle.

If CSN decided to pick and choose what games they select, an educated guess would be that January 17 game against BC will be of most interest, if the early part of the season is any indication. One would also hope that CSN would pick up the Denver Cup game on January 3rd, since many of us Terrier fans can’t afford the $400 plane fare right after the holiday season (but trust you me, I tried!)

It remains to be seen what BU or UVM will do in the wake of this announcement. Big kudos to Scott for getting this news.

UPDATE: According to the comment below, Comcast Sports Net will pick up several games on CN8’s college hockey schedule.  Thanks to Tim from Comcast Sports Net for responding right away, and for Comcast for taking care of us college hockey fans.

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On Being The Best Luck Charm

The Front Page of the Boston GlobeNever have I been a true fan of professional basketball. Yeah, as a tweenager, there was some excitement in Rochester when the Toronto Raptors came into existence- but they quickly flew away, once we realized how horrendous they really were. (Although that never stopped the proliferation of purple Vince Carter jerseys around the city.) But otherwise, the NBA did not register on my radar – I’m really short, I grew up in Hockey Land USA (Detroit can be Hockey Town, but Western New York is Hockey Land), and out of all the professional sports out there, my father thought basketball was the most corrupt. (Ever the conspiracy theorist, my father believed that all sports were corrupt – but he watched most of them anyway, because they were fun.) This all added up to my never exhausting my Sports Girl energy on following the Boston Celtics when I moved up here four years ago.

Last night, however, I became the most despised of all sports fans – the bandwagon jumper – and went to a local bar to watch Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Since I moved here, I’ve spent every potential championship game for a Boston sports team working an event on campus designed to keep the students from rioting. For the first time, a Boston team could win a championship and there were only a handful of students around, and thus no need to throw an arena-sized viewing party. Continue reading

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Boston Guys, Drew Bledsoe and What Us Girls Can Learn From the Two

On my subway ride to work this morning, I was reading the Metro (a newspaper for people with the attention span of a 3 year old) and as usual, I skipped right to the sports section. I’m not that apathetic in real life, but it’s not like the Metro has any breaking news that I didn’t already read earlier that morning online. That’s the thing about sports–there are so many sportswriters out there and so many ways you can twist the facts that factual sports pieces about the same event or topic are often different enough to warrant reading more than one.

Tuesday’s sports columnist for the Metro is Bob Halloran, a sports anchor for the ABC affiliate here in Boston. I usually disagree with him for some reason for another, but today there wasn’t much to disagree with. His column was about what is every Boston guy seems to be talking about these days: the downfall of Drew Bledsoe.

For someone who plays for your not-too-serious division opponent, Bledsoe sure gets a lot of press. He also gets a lot of discussion out of every Boston bred guy I happen to talk to. I thought it was just because I’m a Bills fan, and therefore, they were just engaging me in conversation. But then I read the Globe this past week, and the Metro last week and today, and I finally figured it out: Boston guys between the ages of 20-30 are obsessed with Bledsoe because he was their hero for their formative football watching years. With Drew’s problematic tenure in Buffalo and his age beginning to catch up with him, this population is experiencing…not a loss, but just the realization that they’re growing up.

Stay with me no matter how weird this sounds. Think about it: Bledsoe is 32. I’m 22. He was drafted in 1993, when I was 11. The guys I talk to about football are all in their early to mid 20s, meaning they were all pre-teens or just thirteen when Bledsoe became a Patriot. Formative football fandom years right there. What happens in football between the ages of 10-13 totally form the rest of your football watching life. Me and Steve Young–all when I was 10ish-11ish. Buffalo’s 0-4 Super Bowl run? From the ages of 8-12.

All of the men in Boston are obsessed with following the end of Bledsoe’s career, even though it’s with the Bills, because it’s the end of one of the first thing they concretely experienced as sports fans. You may have been 5 in 1987, but how much did you realize that the Red Sox blew the World Series? You may have been alive when Larry Bird was lighting up the Garden, but you were a little concerned with trying to ride a tricycle to realize what was really going on. Bledsoe is someone they watched get drafted, go through the requisite rookie blues, learn to find his way under Parcells, and take the Patriots to their first Super Bowl. And while my Boston guys currently believe in the holy trinity of Belichick, Brady and Vinatieri, they can’t ever look up to Brady, because he’s one of them. He’s their age. If this was high school, Brady would be that kid one grade up who is friends with your friend’s stairstep older brother. He’s be the guy you’d be competing with for a spot on the football team. He’d be the guy the cheerleaders would get to cheer for…

Not that wanna-be cheerleader me has a problem with that.

Nope, I’d cheer for Tom Brady any day.

But that’s besides the point.

The end of Bledsoe’s career is the end of an era for my favorite Boston guys. The Patriots may be winning Super Bowls now, but these guys don’t have that investment in Brady that they did in Bledsoe. Their investment is at a loss, and they just can’t recoup the profits. They’re going to have to admit that they had their run, but the market is now at a loss, and they’re going to have to get rid of it. Does that make sense? Who they banked on for so many years, who they looked up to, who they spent every fall Sunday watching during the majority of their adolescence is not only playing for a division rival, but about to be replaced with either Mr. Useless Quarterback, Shane Matthews, or a rookie who has yet to completely recover from a broken leg.

However, us girls would expect these mourning-for-Drew guys to be moping quietly, thumbing through their Bledsoe rookie cards ant those old school shadow numbered Pats jerseys and original sharktooth hats…but no. Guys don’t work that way. Guys don’t mope. Guys obsess and analyze. They don’t ask why not, but the whole gamut of journalistic questions. If a girl is depressed, they tear up and ask, “Why doesn’t he like me? Why won’t it work out? Why does he like her and not me? Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!” Guys, they just ask, “When exactly did Drew lose his mobility? What coaching system? Was Wysche able to help him at all this season? How good was Drew’s arm back in 1996? If he had had the mobility in the pocket, how good could he have been? Was he really the one orchestrating his own departure to Buffalo back in 2002?”

Because part of this letting go of Bledsoe involves their self-observation that they are getting older, Boston guys will obviously start to put up some sort of bitter defense mechanism, which in this case takes the form of making great fun out of the first Bills fan they come across, aka me. I lost a bet to my boss over the game, and now have to put my hair up in a straight out of the 80s ponytail and wear it all day this upcoming Friday. The guy I dated over the summer e-mailed me and mentioned how much the Bills were going to be decimated, and then e-mailed again Monday morning to let me know that while he had been nervous going in, the Pats beat the Bills with a ragtag group of cornerbacks and how much Bledsoe just “sucked.” Sure, it’s all in good fun, but I swear there’s a little bit of a defense mechanism in there. Bitterness=denial that their childhood is over.

Ladies, we can take a lot from observing Boston guys mourn their favorite QBs descent into mediocrity (well, unfortunately, it might be beyond even that at this point). We may finally be able to understand the thought processes of men. They deal with depression by analyzing, they hate the idea of getting old, and they keep ugly mid-1990s NFL sharktooth hats under their bed. Or just consider this: Men and women are both nostalgia based creatures, but women miss what they can’t have, and men miss what they once had and the amount of time that has passed since they had it.

Hmm…men are quite easy to figure out when you get down to it.

Okay, maybe they aren’t.

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