Word is Out on Jason Collins



Jason Collins likely beat a dozen other gay NBA players to the punch. If they came out tomorrow, it would be an anti-climax and with no redeeming social merit.


So, we listened to a bunch of closet-case sports commentators and radio talk show hosts, all straight as the gate, as they pontificated about the breadth and depth of their knowledge of gay issues. Only Chris Broussard of ESPN held to the time-dishonored gay bashing of yore.


Really, Mary? It was enough to make RuPaul walk off American Idol, or whatever drag show she hosts.


Has Jason Collins sucker punched the sports media? He gave his first exclusive interview to no less than George Stephanopoulos. They were both sitting down or the irony of their togetherness might look suspicious. George is shorter than most men.


No one asked the really salient questions that most gay men want to know: like is he single? What gay clubs did he frequent in Boston—and how did he manage to stay hidden when he is nearly seven feet tall?


Gay men with a passing interest in basketball are suddenly boning up on down-low brothers in the ghetto.


We expect that next time we drop by a gay club to trip the light fantastic we shall find numerous Jason Collins tank top jerseys in a variety of team colors. He played for seven different teams in an equal number of cities.


Word has it that he is a free agent after this season, and he will be on the open market, available to the highest bidder.


Heavens, that sort of thing can get you arrested in some cities.




Jason Collins Comes Out of the Closet


Jason Collins never played much in Boston, but always seemed ready to do garbage time for Doc Rivers on the bench for the Celtics.

As the first round of playoffs came to an end, the man who was traded to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford trumped his former teammates in Boston by becoming the first active professional athlete in a major sport to announce that he is gay.

Collins will likely increase his income from a battery of endorsements. The Celtics are likely kicking themselves for letting him go when they could use some good publicity.

Jason never made much noise in Boston and seemed like an affable and pleasant sort. He never broke into Doc Rivers’s rotations. If he made a splash off court in the lively Boston gay community, there are more people keeping the down and low downlow.

His historic date of April 29, 2013, will hardly put him into the immediate spotlight. His team is not part of post-season. Fan reaction on the court will need to remain for next season’s tour around the league. Had he remained in Boston, we wonder if he would have dared to come out with a pivotal game coming up on Wednesday, May 1st.

Nevertheless, the NBA has trumped the NFL, which was touting that their gay players would come out of the closet first. Of course, Jason Collins is no spring chicken, and coming out on the heels of retirement is a distinct possibility if he does not make a team next season.

A real test shall be for the player with the bulk of his career still ahead of him. Nonetheless, we must laud Jason for his courage, though that has now become the cliché with a entourage of fellow players all tweeting him best wishes.

We know Doc Rivers knew something a few weeks ago when he took his team to watch the new movie 42 about Jackie Robinson and breaking the color barrier in baseball—and noted to the press that the next big splash would be a gay player coming out in the NBA.

Jason’s teammates were all likely aware in varying degrees to the situation while he was in Boston, but we are sorry he couldn’t have made his announcement right next to Lucky the Leprechaun at the Boston TD Garden.


Another Red Sox Player Begs for Privacy


Which big man on the Red Sox is seeking a divorce from his wife and mother of his three children?

Issuing a statement to the public through MLB.com may not be a way to contain a problem. It’s like finding the microscope that will give inquiring eyes a vision to behold.

Last season another Red Sox pitcher had a vitriolic reaction to the public information about his marital troubles.

The year before another player went through an extremely messy divorce, which some contended led to his slump and loss of focus during the season.

Nothing of the sort appears to be occurring this time. The player in question seems to be enjoying a hot streak.

The latest player seems to be making a pre-emptive strike, and the latest co-respondent may have more pull with the media, owing to his near legendary role on the team.

Sports players have always thought of themselves as a breed apart from your usual celebrities, though they are quick to do commercials and movies when the chance offers itself.

Why are ballplayers different than Lindsay Lohan? Justin Bieber? Or Chris Brown?

When you are in the public eye and make millions of dollars off the public’s adoration, you may think you are a private individual with a curtain closing off your off-field antics from your on-field game.

Movie stars and singers have long ago learned that when you play the field, you are likely to be called in error by the official scorer.

Another Red Sox star is asking for dispensation for his sins, but that’s between his confessor and his spouse. Last time we looked: the media loves a good confession and more often resembles a louse than a spouse.

Red Sox Prince of Steals & Thief of Fan Hearts


Jacoby Ellsbury fans have laid low for a season because he is on one of those off and on cycles in his career and life.

Now that he seems to be “on” for this year, Ellsbury’s Elves are out of the closet. Ellsbury now has 200 steals with the Red Sox, and his loving supporters are gearing up for a year to remember.

Leading the league in steals (most recently thrown out for the first time after eleven attempts) puts the tea-leaf Ellsbury fans into a dither. It is a portent you expect to hear from the Three Weird Sisters around their kettle.

At the least, you expect to have Ellsbury’s agent pop up after one month and insist this young man (pushing 30) is aiming for the stars.

Before we label him the next Werner Von Braun, we should see if he has his feet firmly planted in center field, or whether he may crash into a teammate, ending another season of wild potential with the microcosm of a hangnail.

Perhaps some fans are reluctant to jump on his fan base bandwagon for a good reason: he is likely ready to jump ship for a good ship with lollipops on the west coast.

Ellsbury is a quiet, unassuming, brave man. He plays without chitchat, braggadocio, or sundry scandals that surround most modern athletes. It’s what makes his success all the more maddening. He will take his talents not to South Beach, but to Rodeo Drive and never look back with a complaint.

If you want to admire Ellsbury and sing his praises, the window of opportunity is smaller than the one Alice found in Wonderland.

The man with one sleeve may have nothing up that bare arm to slake the needs of Boston fans.

Being healthy this season will make him rich next season. But, being healthy and wealthy does not guarantee being wise.


 Be sure to read William Russo’s books of satiric analysis on the Boston Red Sox, including RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY and RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL.

Red Hot Sox Win







Slim John Lackey returned again from an injury and actually did himself proud. Though we have not been one of his biggest supporters, we have come around on a team that plays well.


Winning is a great deodorant, and the Red Sox have fumigated the clubhouse and perfumed the dugout. Not even a ton of spat sunflower seeds can change the beauty found in a winning team.


Any time a team picked for the cellar of the American League wins with aplomb and finds themselves in first place in the standings, they are soon to be first in the hearts of their countrymen.


After all, it was this team that came up with the slogan “Boston Strong.” We doubt the Valentine team would have had the same heart for city.


David Ortiz has been hitting the ball like Babe Ruth playing with the Little League. Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz seem to have recovered from a nearly fatal dose of Josh Beckett last season.


Manager John Farrell has been everything you would expect from the politically correct Dudley Do-Right playing the team’s matinee idol. He looks perfect for the role, but speaks and acts exactly as the script calls. This Dudley is no dud.


When a team wins nearly two-thirds of their April schedule, you feel like you can glide into the All-Star break.


The sell-out streak at Fenway ended early in the month, and empty seats dotted the grandstands lately. However, with another month like April and people will come.


The Boston Celtics and Red Sox: Ebb and Flow



One chapter opens, and another chapter closes.


The Red Sox have come to life just as the Celtics do the dance of death.


One team was expected to be a disaster, wallowing in the cellar of their league, and the other was expected to shine in the playoffs, having kept their aging stars in cryogenic perfection throughout the season.


Alas, those best laid plans have yet again taken a hit. Mice have supplanted men in the scheme of playing under pressure. The Celtics used to have Lenny and George on their team, but now Rondo is out for the season and Kendrick Perkins is the Okie from the Thunder.


Those players who were supposed to rise to the occasion have fallen onto their swords, and those who were thought to be deader than a doornail have risen from the grave.


It’s the ironic world of Boston sports where sell-outs go south and the team rises to lead the league.


It’s the metaphoric world of Boston sports where a Hall of Fame starting lineup is inevitably replaced with a bunch made in China.


Separating the men from the boys of summer may be more difficult when the men are golden agers and the boys are not much younger.


It’s a world where Kevin Garnett is dropping out of his métier and David Ortiz is dropping F-bombs on national television.


The Red Sox and Celtics are heading in opposite directions, and like ships in the Night, they have passed each other on the calendar and in the standings.


With the changing of the guard comes a topsy-turvy world. The Celtics were supposed to win, and the Red Sox were supposed to lose. April is definitely the cruelest month in Boston when it comes to expectations.


The Art of NASA’s Rover



Your tax dollars are hard—at work.


Up there on Mars, the manly god of war planet, in the red clay of the surface, our cheeky little rover is having a grand old time.


Without a men’s room in the vicinity, the rover has had nowhere to peddle his artwork. The ever-lasting image from Mars will always be what some Romans used to draw on the walls of their local bathhouse.


The rover named Curiosity has a streak that transcends history. We are sure you can find similar drawings on the walls of Machu Pinchu or inside the Pyramids.


Cavemen traced such images in the dark recesses of their local man cave. Now the NASA rover has followed suit.




Like all great empires, the examples are bigger than all previous efforts. And, the rover’s sand drawing is more than a red castle in the sky; it is beach blanket bingo.


If a kid takes a stick and traces a phallus in the sand at the beach, the tide will not wait to erase it. However, an image in the red sand of Mars will last for several hundred thousand years. We can only wait for the next asteroid to strike. Then, like an Etch-a-Sketch image, the phallus will disappear into the cosmic memory.


As for now, we have a big laugh at the size of the joke.




Songs to End the Boston Celtics Season





Was it Jim Morrison of the Doors that sang “This is the end,” as his swan song. Since the fans will likely hit the local pubs along Causeway Street when the Celts lose two more games at the TD Garden, those drinking songs will grow in appropriateness.


Maybe Roy Orbison’s booming baritone letting us know, “It’s Over,” will be the icing on the cake.


The Celtics may want to consider what tunes to play when they return home against the Knicks.


Nominations include the tune, ever-popular spiritual as the Titanic sank, “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” The Celtics have sprung a leak–and the iceberg sailed away after hitting Rondo.


Perhaps some wag will choose the song, most recently famous as the tune sung at the end of Dr. Strangelove: it was once a hit during World War II. “We’ll Meet Again,” seems to hold out some hope that there will be another playoff year some day.


Those into the operatic will no doubt vote for the dirge with a hint of grandeur, “Time to Say Goodbye,” whether it is the version by Sarah Brightman or Andrea Bocelli (or as a duet). It might be more suitable to Symphony Hall, but the Garden deserves its own funeral march to oblivion.


Who can ever forget Klaus Nomi singing the Purcell tune, “The Cold Song,” as his farewell when he was dying? Perhaps Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can hold hands and retire together.


The Garden party may be more likely to know Elvis Costello and his ditty, “Waiting for the End of the World.”


Of course, the most likely song to match the mood of the fans will be hardy rendition of “Happy Trails to You,” as performed by cowboy icon Roy Rogers.


In any respect, no one will be humming as the season comes to its ignominious close with a handful of painful games on the docket.


Celtics Look Like Jack the Ripper’s Victims



The Celtics are taking on water faster than it can be bailed.


If you want to bail out the Celtics, have a miracle sent in from Fatima, Lourdes, or the Mount of Olives. Ask Rajon Rondo to put on his superman suit, replete in green.


With the ever-promised playoffs finally here, the Finals are still likely far off for this team. Wait till next year, fans, or sometime later in the decade.


All season opinions centered on avoiding the Heat in the first round, which would have resulted in a departure faster an automatic weapon’s recoil.


There are more clouds of gray in New York than any Russian play could guarantee, in the immortal words of Ira Gershwin.


Now it appears that those pesky bad calls, so often game changers during the season, have come back to haunt the Celtics more than a repeat episode of Ghost Hunters.


Kevin Garnett suffers in the style of a victim from the notorious bad calls of officials. It’s a serial crime against the Celtics; the nature of the officials ought to be called into question, but Jack the Ripper is dressed as Carmelo Anthony in this tale.


Whatever happened to the notion that bad calls only go against novices in the NBA? We presume Garnett is a novice of 17 seasons.


Those who claimed the Celtics were better off without Rondo are now wondering why the team has no point guard.


Maybe this season’s Celtics team is not quite the Titanic, but being on the Lusitania is not a better option.


Yes, rats are leaving this ship with alacrity, taking their storied Green cheese with them.







Alfredo Aceves Hits the Showers Like Norman Bates


Alfredo Aceves received a vote of confidence in spring training from the Red Sox. They could have dumped his sorry carcass back in a Florida swamp and left him with marshmallows to feed the gators.

No, the Red Sox brought him along, a remnant of the good old days when Sox pitchers were malcontents and troublemakers.

So, to show his gratitude, Aceves had one of the worst innings in Red Sox history. Two balks would certainly qualify as a major headache, but walking a bunch more, giving up a home run add to the performance.

Then, he also made an error. If any player has ever single-handedly lost a game, Aceves is the winner of the contest.

We almost feel as if he knew that his days with the team were numbered, about on a level with his new ERA (8.66).

Aceves actually has won a game this season, which in Red Sox team management means he will be with the team until the trade deadline in August.

One opposing coach commented during a brawl recently that he saw Satan in Aceves’s eyes. It is more likely that he saw Norman Bates. When Beelzebub appears to Aceves, the pitcher will claim the devil made him do it.

Don’t expect any Red Sox front office reaction any time soon to the putrefying performance. If had pitched a no-hitter, they’d offer him as trade bait. If he were Jose Iglesias, they’d send him to the minors.

But this is Alfredo Aceves who has the staying power of J. Edgar Hoover. He must know where the bodies are buried.

Never mind.

Shortly after we filed this story, Aceves was on his way to Triple A Pawtucket.

Go West, Celtics Fans




Paul Pierce tells media that he is among the unforgiving, and nine months after Ray Allen bailed on the Celtics, he is unforgiven.


When Ray Allen gave his all to the LeBron Follies, Pierce chose to play Clint Eastwood one more time in preparation for the playoffs.


Like the Gunfight at the OK Corral, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will play Earp and Doc Holliday. Clearly the other Earp brother is dead in this makeup. We prefer that scenario than the idea that he bolted his family ties to join Ike Clanton’s boys.


Every time Ray Allen comes to Boston, it is Bad Day at Black Rock, though by the time the Heat leave Boston it feels more like The Alamo.


Pierce has taken on the role of good citizen escorting the mastermind criminal Allen while they are re-enacting 3:10 to Yuma. Though on opposite sides, they remain kindred spirits.


With Rondo out of the game for this season, the shootout between Pierce and Allen feel like The Quick and The Dead without Sharon Stone.


When (and if) the Celtics finally meet the Heat in the penultimate series, they may have about as much chance as young gunfighter Leonardo di Caprio in The Quick and The Dead.


Many think the Celtics will end up with more dead players than the OK Corral in My Darling Clementine, or worse off than Paul Newman as a left-handed gun.


Garnett and Pierce continue to traverse the Great Plains like John Wayne and Jeff Hunter in The Searchers, but they may never find their kidnapped family member. Ray Allen has adopted the native ways of the Miami Heat.






David Ortiz Comes Across as Salty of the Earthy


With children and dignitaries sitting in attendance, the Red Sox allowed superstar David Ortiz to take the microphone to express his patriotism.

A naturalized citizen from the Dominican Republic, Ortiz has become more American than apple pie or Michelle Bachmann. So, he was a natural choice to speak over the reverberating public address.

Instead of sounding like Ricky Ricardo doing an imitation of Lou Gehrig, Ortiz and his passionate love for America turned into Lenny Bruce channeling George Carlin.

The Big Papi swore his allegiance to America with more than a swear; it was an epithet only a censor could love.

Fresh off the disabled list, ready for his first game, Ortiz told the kids in the park:  “This is our f—–g city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom.” The interfaith panel of preachers visibly cringed amidst the standing O.

The new mantra of Boston in the post-Marathon world is “Boston Strong,” apparently meaning strong language and strong drink.

The Sox GM may consider putting Ortiz’s tongue on the disabled list. Granted that English is not his strong suit, making him the designated hitter for speechifying may have been like sending a pitcher up to bat for himself in the bottom of the ninth.

The more ironic and sarcastic of journalists present reported that Ortiz spoke poignantly and with a touch of salt on his palatable words.

No one questioned Papi’s dedication and credentials. A few more erudite fans may have questioned his intelligence and etiquette.

Fear not: next time he will be on delayed tape with a bar of Lifebuoy Soap in his pocket to prevent anything akin to ‘nipplegate’ as performed by Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl.

Rondo Parked on Bench for Playoffs


Rajon Rondo returned to the Celtics for the first game of the playoffs. Unfortunately, he served as a coach far more than a cheerleader.

As Doc Rivers told the assembled multitudes of media, Rondo knew all the Knick plays and could direct traffic during the shoot-around. Alas, he had to sit in a smart looking suit next to sweaty Kevin Garnett during the game.

The Celtics have no point guard and use a series of defenders to try to make up for the loss of Rondo. Having him on the bench during the playoffs at least gives the most brilliant tactician on the team a chance to strut his stuff.

The bad news, Celtics fans, is that the Celtics without Rondo are sort of like Dallas without Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. His spirit hangs like a pall over the proceedings as you wish for what could have been.

As a coach, Doc Rivers is like the family patriarch who is overseeing a chaotic Thanksgiving Day dinner. The only son who could cook a dinner for fifteen is unable to put on his apron and chef’s bonnet, aka your tuque. And, Rondo is a master chef in addition to his basketball skills.

How frustrating it must be for the Celtics head coach was obvious by his comments before game one. The only player who knew all the defensive schemes and the strategies of the Knicks was not going to play the game.

If the Celtics cannot absorb Rondo’s advice and consent during the first series, they may be out in the cold heat of the summer. If they can do what Rondo tells them, they could be facing the Heat of the summer.

Oh, by the way, the Celtics lost the first game to the Knicks.


Celtics Knock Knicks Knack




All the Celtics are pointing out the New York Knickerbockers are better than anything seen since Washington Irving penned a few tales about the breed.


When it comes to false modesty, the Celtics take the prize. If the series comes down to smack-talking, the Boston team will win by keeping a golden silence.


Kevin Garnett has promised to keep his cross words and sharp tongue firmly in his cheek.


Yes, the latest rights of braggadocio center on the virtue of praising your opponent. In an age when everything else has been tried, you may as well start spouting the truth. Who knows? Perhaps it will set the Celtics to the free-throw line.


The Celtics don’t have much when it comes to three-pointers unless they take up the three points of Doc Rivers: see no Melo, speak no Melo, and hear no Melo.


All season Carmelo has been a carbuncle when it comes to sticking in the Celtics’ craw.


With all the Knicks knights back from the knell of the DL, the Celtics know that they have about as much chance as the Knights Templar facing the Inquisition.


The Knicks already see the Celtics as nothing more than a knish at midnight. The Green Team may be looking at a knucklier end to the knackers. Arrogant New Yorkers are predicting a knockdown in game four.


If the Celtics find their kneecaps broken by the knave Knicks, then the knowledge may sink them to one knee before half-time knocks the air out of their knarry fate.


The Knicks merely give the world a knockoff version of a champion. And that’s the way you play crossword basketball.






Stephen Hawking Picks the Celtics in Deep Six




Famed scientist Stephen Hawking, a kin of Albert Einstein in the cosmology of odds and evens, has claimed the Boston Celtics’ fate is in the hands of quantum fluctuations.


Yes, Hawking told an audience of eggheads whose brain is in the shape of a basketball, God rolls the dice to determine whether Kevin Garnett will overcome Carmelo Anthony.


If you want to discover the God particle, you should look to see if Avery Bradley moves quicker than something shot out of the Hadron Collider.


However, quantum fluctuations are really the key to victory in a seven game series between the New York Knicks and the Celtics starting on Saturday.


As Garnett learned earlier in the season, forget controlling the ball. If you can play mind games with the Knicks, they will be off their feed, passing on the honey-nut cereal in the honey-nut-of-a-series.


Hawking might well tell Celtics’ players that there is no escaping a black hole if you are pulled in at Madison Square Garden. The problem is that the opposite force in the TD Garden is less powerful.


The proof that physics controls the basketball fortunes of the NBA is found every night at the free-throw line where gravity shows that a brick and a feather fall next to the rim at the same speed.


Whatever team loses, the players will be subject to an Inquisition demanding answers to the imponderable. Those who said a prayer before the game may wonder why the laws of relativity gave them the shaft of a black hole.


Dark matter truly dominates the world of the NBA playoffs. You can’t see it, but it may tell you who will win the games.