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Jack Edwards, prognosticating Celtics win total, hate in sports

Wednesday 2/21/24

I feel for Jack Edwards when I watch a Bruins game. This is separate from how he is as a broadcaster and what he's dealing with medically. He's been struggling with his speech for a while. At least a couple years, but this year he's been falling behind the action, like he can't keep up. I don't know if he had a stroke and he's trying to get back to where he was, but I'm sure it's very hard and disheartening and I hope it works out for him.

The Celtics start up again tomorrow. They have 43 wins with 27 games remaining. I don't think their schedule is that hard, so we're likely look at somewhere around 63 wins. The 1985-86 Celtics won 67. This doesn't feel at all like that kind of team, nor do I think they're close to be that kind of team, but if you get to 63 wins, that's a lot.

I saw this debate about who was the less likable team: the Broad Street Bullies Philadelphia Flyers or the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons. Going to say the latter, easily. I don't think people hated those Flyers teams, whereas the Pistons were very much despised by players and fans alike. Some of those players still despise them. The game of hockey was played a certain way in the 1970s and the Flyers really leaned into that. Whereas, the Pistons were doing their own thing. Being hated was their team identity, in a way. And earning the hate.

One still wishes to be careful with that word, though. I cringe some when I hear teams billed as "hated rivals" during a broadcast, as I did the other day with that Rangers-Islanders affair. There's enough hate and this is only sports, plus I don't think it even works very well euphemistically anymore. Rivalries aren't what they were because of the nature of these sports businesses.

On the same subject: I always felt that Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson were play acting their animus, to a degree. There was a storyline and they leaned into it. Even the fights on the field had a "boys will be boys" quality in my mind. You could do it, so you did it. Whereas, I think Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe probably do hate each other for real.


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