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Introducing “Don’t Call Me A Mailbag” Episode 1

Greetings SoB readers,

Welcome to the first edition of what I’m tentatively calling “Don’t Call Me A Mailbag”. I’d be lying if I said I knew what this really was, or what it will turn into in the future, but it should be fun.

For starters, I don’t love the word “Mailbag” or I’d just call it something generic like “Sports of Boston Mailbag”, but in my head I feel like the word “Mailbag” suggests that I am someone a reader would want to have answer their questions . . . something about that thought doesn’t sit well with me. So instead of thinking about it like that, this will be more of a “discussion of topics”.

The next question is, where will these topics come from? And the answer is a bit complicated. For now, I will be using Yahoo! Answers to get them. For those who aren’t familiar with this site, its basically a huge database of questions people ask. Pretty self explanatory, right? With so many questions on Yahoo! Answers to choose from, it will allow me to pick and choose some interesting and fun topics.

And now your probably saying to yourself “This doesn’t sound like a Mailbag at all!”. Au Contraire, in addition to the Yahoo! Answers questions, you will also be able to submit your own questions or topics via email to [email protected] or through Twitter @TonyXypteras.

And We’re Off . . .

Yahoo! Answers user Jonas asks “Will Pacquiao’s legacy be hurt because the fight with Mayweather wouldn’t push through? Why?

Will his legacy be hurt? Its too early to tell right now. I think they’ll end up fighting one of these days. I will say this though, if it was Mayweather who made such a big deal over blood testing he would be getting absolutely killed by the media. I’m not a huge boxing guy, but Mayweather’s terms don’t seem THAT ridiculous to me. Is it crazy to think that If Pacquiao had nothing to hide he would just agree to the testing? Its a little sketchy, no?

Yahoo! Answers user OMG TOAST! Asks “Can someone explain to me why Bruins fans hate Joe Thornton? I was 11 and pretty young during the Joe Thornton trade time period, and since the B’s take on the Sharks tonight, there’s quite a bit of Joe Thornton hate in the Boston air that I don’t really understand!”

I have no problem with Joe Thornton. Talent for Talent, the Sharks stole him from us. Obviously trading Joe opened up cap space that we took advantage of when we signed Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara, but the trade was just awful. A lot of fans put him in the same broad category with Randy Moss. Super talent with no hardware to show for it. It’s a fair criticism, but I would argue that the fans don’t hate Jumbo Joe as much as you (or I) think. He got a pretty good and well deserved ovation the other night.

Yahoo! Answers user Nova Asks “How can Badminton achieve the same popularity as basketball in America?”

See! This is why Yahoo! Answers is great. Where else would you find a question like this?

Yahoo! Answers user Kessie Asks “Do you think Rask will see more ice time this season?”

He should be playing more, the team has said they want to play him more, but they haven’t. In my opinion this is the Bruins biggest issue right now. Unfortunately Claude doesn’t really have a choice because the team plays like garbage when Rask is in net. Tuukka deserves a lot of credit here, he IS a starting goaltender and he’s taken his reserve role like a real professional. Can you Imagine is he had the personality of John Lackey? Gotta love hockey players.

Yahoo! Answers user Jim Asks “What are your thoughts on the NBA canceling two more weeks of the season?”

Its disappointing. The large majority of people I talk to don’t seem to care, but its killing me. I guess I’m a little naive, but I really didn’t think we would get to this point. I strongly recommend listening to Billy Hunter’s interview with Bill Simmons on his latest podcast. Lots of good inside information to be found there. As a fan, I just can’t get passed the fact that these guys aren’t even meeting anymore. I know if I was a player missing paychecks this would drive me insane. Does anyone care? It doesn’t seem like it.

Yahoo! Answers user Joe Asks “Is anyone concerned about the New England Patriots Defense?”

Absolutely. You have to be concerned. It is clearly the weak spot of this team and has been for some time now. However, you do have to give credit where credit is due . . . they have looked better the past two weeks. And I’m not just saying that as a whole, I have noticed specific players improving. At times

Kyle Love has looked very good. I think Brandon Spikes has shown something. Kyle Arrington has looked better lately. Andre Carter has been making plays. These guys aren’t necessarily play-makers, but they are making plays and that’s a start. I see some light at the end of the tunnel with this defense. That’s more than I could have said last year.

Yahoo! Answers User Dan Stanley Asks “How can we create more household names in hockey? The best way to grow a sport is to make its players known. The NFL, NBA, and MLB have all done that. The NHL has only two household names, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. We can’t grow a sport with only two guys, especially if one is going to be out injured for an extended period.”

Yup. This is something Hockey is really struggling with. And Unfortunately I don’t see it improving anytime soon. The NHL made a huge tactical error signing a 10 year TV deal with NBC/Versus this past April. I’m going to defer to Gene Wyshynski who summed it up perfectly in this column he wrote after the deal was announced.

“Did the NHL need ESPN? Debatable. I think those in the League brass and on the Board of Governors that felt feeding the NHL into the ESPN publicity machine had a point: The Game is more marketable and the players are more marketable than in our last dance with the WWL. The casual fan is ready to embrace this sport, and ESPN can sell anything to its constituents if motivated to do so.”

As a real hockey fan, I would have loved to see an NHL/ESPN deal go down. Oh well, maybe in 2021.


That will do it for this weeks “Don’t Call Me A Mailbag”. Feel free to answer or respond to these topics in the comment section below, or send in your own questions to [email protected] or via twitter @TonyXypteras.


Be Good.

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