|Connelly’s Top Ten: Daylight Savings, Pistol Pete and 6-4-3||Connolly Injury and Bruins Weekly Roundup||Red Sox 2015 Preview: Vazquez, Hanigan, Swihart||Vince Wilfork, Patriots Part Ways After 11 Seasons|
The pages are listed below, and will have their links on the home page for all time. So enjoy this year’s 2012 events, and come back in a year for the 2013 edition.
In late August, with the waiver-wire deadline looming, the Red Sox completed a massive trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston dumped the salaries of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, none of whom were close to living up to expectations. With about $275,000,000 saved, the Red Sox were free to pursue other names that could help, once the season finally ended mercifully, that is.
Now, the Sox used some of that flexibility to sign Shane Victorino for the outfield, Ryan Dempster on the mound and are currently working on a first baseman, if not Mike Napoli, then maybe Adam LaRoche. There are plenty of other kinks to work out, but with the money to spend and several toxic contracts off the books, Boston should at least be better than they were with all the problems they had last year.
The thrilling series between the Celtics and Heat got plenty of choices here and there, but what’s more thrilling than when the Patriots just tear through a supposedly elite team? Houston was already anointed as the AFC’s top seed, but took a stumble against the Patriots, losing 42-14. That eventually led to New England getting a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs, which is always useful. More importantly, New England showed that they could hang with the best teams in the league. They affirmed it the following week during a furious comeback attempt against San Francisco.
As a result of New England’s drubbing of Houston, they’ve set up a rematch in the divisional round, assuming Houston halts their slide and beats Cincinnati. Next up would likely be a trip to Denver for another AFC title game between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. The Patriots are doing well, but another Super Bowl wouldn’t be nearly as possible if New England hadn’t proved that they can beat up on a rough team like Houston.
In the only unanimous selection among Sob staff for the end-of-year festivities, New England’s star quarterback gets the nod for yet another masterful season. Brady led the Patriots to a 12-4 record and the #2 seed in the AFC. Over the course of the season, Brady threw for 4,827 yards, 34 touchdowns and just eight picks.
New England’s offense is often known for carrying the team, and it all starts with Tom Brady. His poise is astounding, and he knows how to get things done on the field. The Patriots certainly wouldn’t be where they are without Tom Brady, and he is very much deserving of the honor he receives. And hopefully, the team is poised to make another championship run.
For two years in a row, a Celtic legend has entered the Sob Hall of Fame. Last year it was Larry Bird, and this year it’s Bill Russell’s turn. From 1956 to 1969, Russell made himself known as one of the best centers of all time, and indeed one of the league’s top players. During his 13 years, Russell won an incredible 11 championships, including eight in a row from 1959 to 1966.
In 42.3 minutes per game (quite a lot for today’s players), Russel averaged 22.5 rebounds per game over the course of his career. That’s good for 21,620 overall, a staggering amount and second all-time only to the great Wilt Chamberlain (23,924). Russell also totaled 14,522 points (15.1 per game) and an even 4,100 assists (4.3 per game).
Russell is truly one of the icons of his time, and deserving of his enshrinement as the 2012 inductee in the SoB Hall of Fame.