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Simmons v. ESPN II?


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#151 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:13 PM

I have to be honest. I went to about 8-10 Pats games in the 5 football seasons when I lived in Providence from 88-93, and I went to the Jets game at Gillette last week. I really don't see how anyone could possibly say that old Foxboro was better.

It's not just a comfort thing, it is also an engagement thing. At old Foxboro the sight lines sucked - yes you were closer but unless you were in the main area between the 30s you had a flat angle that blew balls. It took 20 minutes to get to the men's room, piss and get back to your seat. The concession lines were half a mile long (I never understood that. It was what.....$5-6 a beer back then so they were making plenty of coin. The stadium was half full....and they would close a third of the concession stands. They should have been fucking plying everybody with beer!!!!) and the way the stands were set up, if a guy 6 rows down went to take a pee then you were going to miss the next 2 plays as it took ages for the guy to get out and the sight lines sucked.

As far as the noise thing.......maybe I'm missing it, and in fairness I was never there for a big game like a playoff game (the Pats sucked when I was there), but I don't remember Foxboro being a place where you thought "Wow, it is fucking loud in here."

Gillette is a fantastic football venue. You guys are lucky. It's a shame your national representative in the media decided to present that idiotic opinion.

#152 mcpickl

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:19 PM

To me the main crux of the piece was not blaming yuppies or sell-out fans so much as he was blaming the teams, the leagues and the facilities that they have created. They've forced the loud, real fans away from the field and put the quiet, phony fans closer which dilutes the home field advantage in the teams' quest to milk every cent out of high rollers. This thread seems to have taken a turn away from that central, inarguable fact. It's not just Foxboro, it's all the places he listed and the new ones to come. It's just a fact of life in sports 2008 and if you doubt it, you can look at his stat tables.
It's a piece that is mourning the old school environments and the integrity- the let's have fun first, money second, part of sports which has basically vanished. I think this thread has taken his thesis way too personally. It's not the fans fault that The Razor doesn't retain noise like the old place did or that the Pats (and all NFL teams) cater to wealthy customers, it's just a fact of life. Simmons is merely pointing out the obvious.


Why not just write an article that the sky is blue then?

Teams have shut out the real fans because tickets are too expensive in their new stadiums? Its like complaining that BMWs are too expensive because they make a really nice car.

Pro sports teams are an effin business. Any writer who still rants about this crap that its too expensive for the "real fans" are heading into crotchety Shaughnessy territory.

Enjoy the slide Simmons.

#153 Jinhocho


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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:24 PM

Ostensible, sure. But as with so many of his non-NBA columns from the last 3 years or so, I just can't get past what I feel is the ulterior motive for writing this piece: he doesn't want his younger audience to think he's a phony. And like Tony says, simply by adopting that strategy, he is what he decries.


How can this be construed as being focused on his younger audience - none of them experienced what he is talking about. That article nails what people in their mid 30s to mid 40s or even older who can recognize how things are changing and lament (even if slightly hypocritical) the passing of something from days gone by.

#154 Jinhocho


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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:26 PM

It just seems to me that whatever Simmons writes will rile the same people on here time and time again. It is not everyone, but it is enough that it is gets tiresome.

#155 drleather2001


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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:47 PM

How can this be construed as being focused on his younger audience - none of them experienced what he is talking about. That article nails what people in their mid 30s to mid 40s or even older who can recognize how things are changing and lament (even if slightly hypocritical) the passing of something from days gone by.


1) If he's writing it for people who already experienced and can form their own opinions...why bother?
2) It's another example of the age-old axiom of the aging to the young: "Things were so much cooler in my day."

Edited by drleather2001, 23 November 2008 - 09:48 PM.


#156 Jinhocho


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Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:52 PM

1) If he's writing it for people who already experienced and can form their own opinions...why bother?
2) It's another example of the age-old axiom of the aging to the young: "Things were so much cooler in my day."


I work with young people - they could care less about the differences between eras. This one was and is aimed squarely at people who have been there and seen that...

#157 ifmanis5


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 08:12 AM

Beyond being trite and tired, relying on his buddies' experiences is problematic because Simmons doesn't sit in the cheap seats anymore. He works at ESPN and sits in the fucking luxury box or mid-field seats unless he opts not to. And that's cool. Good for him. But don't put on this mantle of "I'm just telling it like it is from the perspective of the everyday fan (who, um, is 40 years old , still likes to be called "J Bug," and longs for the days when he thought he should beat up other men for wearing earrings. Just like you, right?").

Simmons has always written about himself, his friends, their shared experiences. It's a blog that became a column, that's what differentiates him from the mainstream media. Are you suggesting he should stop doing this? Or that once you turn 40 you have to stop calling yourself 'JBug?' I think you're judging him more than he is judging others here.

#158 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 08:48 AM

I work with young people - they could care less about the differences between eras. This one was and is aimed squarely at people who have been there and seen that...

And it's obvious that his opinions don't resonate with a lot of people here, people that should be his target audience. There's no harm in pointing that out. I'm Simmons' age and much of what he's written in the past has resonated with me, but I couldn't disagree more with him on this topic.

I have to agree with Tony C on this issue. Simmons and his douchey friends come off looking like tools in this column. I'm tired of being told that they're the only real fans left. Old Foxboro Stadium sucked. There were some fantastic memorable moments there and closing the old dump with the Snow Bowl was a wonderful way to end the Pats' time there, but the stadium itself was a horrible, soul-crushing place to see football. The games themselves were what I remember, not that horrible concrete monstrosity.

#159 Rocco Graziosa


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 09:14 AM

I agree 100% with those here that remember old Foxboro stadium as a complete dump. As a season ticket holder I had a weekly reminder come fall. But I wonder what everyone here would say if they tore down Fenway, and put up a state of the art 50,000 seat behemouth? I like to think I'm pretty consistant, as I've advocated blowing up that dump Fenway Park for 20 years now. It just seems to me some of those that ripped that idea in our several debates way back when, are in here blasting Simmons for waxing poetic about the love for an old stadium.

And regarding the new staduim, I f*cking love it. But of course I have seats in the lower bowl. There are most definitely two Gillete Stadiums.......lower bowl and upper bowl. Two completely different experiences. And its literally a hike to get up there.........why they didn't put the stadium half in the ground I'll never understand.

Edited by Rocco Graziosa, 24 November 2008 - 09:21 AM.


#160 DJnVa


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 09:23 AM

Is it that simple?

That is roughly the timeframe Simmons would be talking about and the years in the old stadium. Hardly a shitty team. Also, I believe every one of those games was sold out (so 60 thousand fans not 30 thousand) and I guarantee the crowd was louder game after game there with 60000 than with the 68000 that go each week in the new stadium.



Ehh, you're probably right on that count. However, his point about the teams that opening new stadiums and home favorites not covering in the last 10 years doesn't really hold up outside of 2 years. He seems to be talking about some gambling discovery he's made and it's not really a trend, just 2 blips in 10 years of data.

#161 drleather2001


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:10 AM

Simmons has always written about himself, his friends, their shared experiences. It's a blog that became a column, that's what differentiates him from the mainstream media. Are you suggesting he should stop doing this? Or that once you turn 40 you have to stop calling yourself 'JBug?' I think you're judging him more than he is judging others here.


This is a much larger issue that's been bandied about here for years now, so I won't rehash it except to say: Yes. That is what I'm suggesting. Just because something has been part of your schtick since the beginning doesn't mean it has to always be part of your schtick. People don't like Bill Simmons articles because of his friends. His friends are boring, just like stories about my friends would be boring to you, just like stories of your friends would be boring to the rest of this site. I think he can do better than that; he OBVIOUSLY can do better than that. He just chooses not to take the extra step (aside from his NBA columns, which he's naturally good at), and he comes off like a Gen-X Andy Rooney.

EDIT: Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm the one who's getting old and just doesn't see it anymore. That could very well be a major factor. But I don't think that's ENTIRELY it.

Edited by drleather2001, 24 November 2008 - 10:13 AM.


#162 Jinhocho


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:11 AM

Ehh, you're probably right on that count. However, his point about the teams that opening new stadiums and home favorites not covering in the last 10 years doesn't really hold up outside of 2 years. He seems to be talking about some gambling discovery he's made and it's not really a trend, just 2 blips in 10 years of data.


Yeah, I am not disputing the gambling part - if you followed it it likely would not be a winner. I do find that the old stadium was full of louder, drunker, more passionate fans than the new one. There are a lot of reasons for that including:

1) stadium set up - the open are at the Razor lets a lot of noise escape.
2) age - so many people bought tickets when Parcells took over - those people are all close to 20 years older and most dont bring it like they used to on Sundays and dont roll so well with the added inconveniences that popped up with the new stadium.
3) club seats - no real defense here. People come late, leave early, watch the games inside. Huge waste of fan space in the stadium though obviously its a cash cow
4) pricing - prices have gone up on everything from tickets (slower), parking (ridiculous) to beer/food in the stadium. I know this prices some people out who used to go.

Anyway, I know the experience changed at Foxboro and it didnt change overnight. It is also hard to sort out how much was external (them) and internal (me as I got older). Foxboro resisted longer than most places cause it was out of the way and a dump, but it is now pretty much indistinguishable from the modern sporting enviromnent (lots of amenities, less soul, and a more corporate vibe).

Anyway, we have pictures from our first or second game as season ticket holders in 1995 and it was Family Day. We snapped a picture of a guy leaning against the wall by the south endzone entrance under the family day banner and hurling over and over for about 20 minutes. This guy was so hammered he was oblivious to the world and people were snapping pictures of him under the banner and posing next to him. As BSG would say, good times...

#163 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:29 AM

I'm no prude but any stretch of the imagination but since when is a drunker crowd a good thing?

And the Pats fans were more passionate? There were a stretch a games in the early 1990s when the Patriots weren't even on local television, the fan base--the entire fan base--simply wasn't passionate back then.

It all really comes down to something that we all do, and Simmons is getting a lot of crap because he has a national column, we all romanticize the past. Everything was better when we were younger, even a piece-of-crap stadium that was obsolete the day it opened up. That's not the problem, the problem is presenting your opinion like its a fact and using your douchey best friend as an example of "what's wrong with the world".

One of the examples that Simmons ave for why the new stadium isn't better than the old Foxboro is because one of his friends can't randomly beat up another person. Simmons is nearing 40, there comes a time in everyone's life where getting tanked and picking fights (not to mention watching "The Hills" and "The Real World") gets embarrassing. This column was not his best work, not by a long shot. And like I said a few pages ago, he chose the wrong venue.

He's been to tons of parks/stadiums, there are dozens of places that he could have written about. He could have held off the column for six months and wrote about the new Yankee Stadium, which is probably going to have an antiseptic feel to it.

#164 Jinhocho


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:04 AM

I'm no prude but any stretch of the imagination but since when is a drunker crowd a good thing?

And the Pats fans were more passionate? There were a stretch a games in the early 1990s when the Patriots weren't even on local television, the fan base--the entire fan base--simply wasn't passionate back then.

It all really comes down to something that we all do, and Simmons is getting a lot of crap because he has a national column, we all romanticize the past. Everything was better when we were younger, even a piece-of-crap stadium that was obsolete the day it opened up. That's not the problem, the problem is presenting your opinion like its a fact and using your douchey best friend as an example of "what's wrong with the world".

One of the examples that Simmons ave for why the new stadium isn't better than the old Foxboro is because one of his friends can't randomly beat up another person. Simmons is nearing 40, there comes a time in everyone's life where getting tanked and picking fights (not to mention watching "The Hills" and "The Real World") gets embarrassing. This column was not his best work, not by a long shot. And like I said a few pages ago, he chose the wrong venue.

He's been to tons of parks/stadiums, there are dozens of places that he could have written about. He could have held off the column for six months and wrote about the new Yankee Stadium, which is probably going to have an antiseptic feel to it.


The people who went were more passionate - isnt that the point when talking about the atmosphere at the games? Certainly, when it came to a rowdy, fired up crowd in mid-December that created a pretty hostile place to play and to watch a game if you were from the other team the old Foxboro was pretty impressive at times. I went to a lot of games starting when Parcells took over and then got season tickets in 1995. I hear what Bill is saying, but think its too simple to put it all on the stadium as being the beginning and end of the discussion.

#165 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:09 PM

Certainly, when it came to a rowdy, fired up crowd in mid-December that created a pretty hostile place to play and to watch a game if you were from the other team the old Foxboro was pretty impressive at times.


I would love to see the Patriots December record from 1971 through 2001.

A. It's probably not as good as you imagine
B. Even if it is that good, the idea that a "hostile" crowd can make it a tough place to play is laughable.

#166 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

I would love to see the Patriots December record from 1971 through 2001.

A. It's probably not as good as you imagine
B. Even if it is that good, the idea that a "hostile" crowd can make it a tough place to play is laughable.

According to my quick math and looking at Pro-Football-Reference, the Pats' record at home in December from 1971 through 2001 is 30-17. They also had 2 home regular season games in January; they went 2-0 in those games.

#167 JimD

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:31 PM

We could have dozens of versions of the argument about how 'X' was so much better back in ye olde innocent times (my own memories revolve around the days when you could show up on the night of a game and get cheap bleacher seats at Fenway). And yeah, it sucks that those days are long gone and aren't ever coming back.

All that being said, it is disingenuous to ignore the reality that in today's sports world, the teams that thrive are those who are owned by groups who are expert at generating as much revenue as possible and using those dollars to maximize their competitive capability. We are fortunate in having two of the premier practitioners of that art in the Kraft and Henry/Werner/Lucchino ownership groups. As an avid fan of Boston sports, there is no way I would ever trade either of those groups for the sorry individuals who owned the Pats and Sox back in the day. Twenty years from now, we are going to look back at the first decade of the 21st century as the 'good ol' days.' If J-Bug and B-Sim can't appreciate what we have right now, it's their problem.

#168 88 MVP

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:32 PM

He's been to tons of parks/stadiums, there are dozens of places that he could have written about. He could have held off the column for six months and wrote about the new Yankee Stadium, which is probably going to have an antiseptic feel to it.


You're right - the new Yankee Stadium will probably have an antiseptic feel and provide much less of a home field advantage than the toilet. And nothing will have changed in NY except the stadium itself. That's Simmons' point.

You sound like you're just bitter that he chose to pick on the Razor as his example. As nice as the amenities are, it's really hard to argue that the new place isn't somewhat dead compared to Foxboro. My own personal low point there was the Sunday night game against the Eagles last year - a tight game in primetime with the undefeated record on the line and the crowd couldn't be bothered to stand or do much in the way of making noise when the Pats D was on the field. Everyone just sat in their seat huddled up. As others have noted, there are probably plenty of reasons the Pats crowds have become less of a factor in the game over the years, but the stadium itself is part of the equation.

At least in MLB, what a team loses in home field advantage with a new SOTAS can be offset by the additional revenue that is brought in and can be applied towards free agents. In a salary cap sport that money just goes to the owner's pockets.

Edited by 88 MVP, 24 November 2008 - 12:35 PM.


#169 brs3


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:00 PM

You sound like you're just bitter that he chose to pick on the Razor as his example. As nice as the amenities are, it's really hard to argue that the new place isn't somewhat dead compared to Foxboro. My own personal low point there was the Sunday night game against the Eagles last year - a tight game in primetime with the undefeated record on the line and the crowd couldn't be bothered to stand or do much in the way of making noise when the Pats D was on the field. Everyone just sat in their seat huddled up. As others have noted, there are probably plenty of reasons the Pats crowds have become less of a factor in the game over the years, but the stadium itself is part of the equation.

At least in MLB, what a team loses in home field advantage with a new SOTAS can be offset by the additional revenue that is brought in and can be applied towards free agents. In a salary cap sport that money just goes to the owner's pockets.


Like any sport, I think the fan intensity is much different in a regular season game than a playoff game. You always hear about Sox/Yanks games being 'playoff atmosphere' even in May. I guess Pats/Jets might be the best analogy there? My point is, the regular season 'atmosphere' isn't at huge as a playoff game.

At the point of the Eagles game, they were 10-0, right? Which would you expect people to be more pumped about, becoming 11-0 versus a 5-5 team, or beating someone in the first and second round of the playoffs? I think it's only normal to suggest an increased intensity in playoff football from regular season football.

#170 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:04 PM

You sound like you're just bitter that he chose to pick on the Razor as his example.


I think you can come up with a better word than bitter, sport.

#171 88 MVP

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:41 PM

I think you can come up with a better word than bitter, sport.


It seemed accurate to me. You're carrying on that Simmons' (entirely subjective) opinion that stadiums like Foxboro provided a better experience than Gillette is somehow not a legitimate viewpoint, but you also acknowledge that the new Yankee stadium is likely to be an antiseptic atmosphere. How one can agree that the new Yankee Stadium will lose some of the atmosphere that made the Toilet (for all its faults) a great place to watch a game but not acknowledge the same thing with regard to Foxboro/Gillete doesn't make sense to me.

There's a disconnect there, sport.

Edited by 88 MVP, 24 November 2008 - 03:42 PM.


#172 reggiecleveland


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:10 PM

Nobody loved BSG more than me. But some of it has gotten old. I find his taste in TV and pop culture borderline feminine to tell you the truth. But, I can't imagine there is a much harder gig than writing the type of thing he does without getting a but stale. There are a lot more people doing his type of thing. Hell my local paper has a sports guy who writes in 1st person and compares Jr. hockey games to episodes of heroes. he is a ripoof of BSG but it makes the original no longer unique. His NBA stuff is still very good.

#173 Jinhocho


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:18 PM

I would love to see the Patriots December record from 1971 through 2001.


B. Even if it is that good, the idea that a "hostile" crowd can make it a tough place to play is laughable.


Well, from my experience, the home crowd really fired up the Pats in the Parcells and BB era specifically. I remember Jacksonville coming out in the snow in 96 in the AFC Championship and those guys in their warmups just looking up in the crowd and watching the insanity. There wasnt a third down play in that game where the stadium wasnt at a full roar and quite literally the stadium was shaking on third downs. Seeing about 30 guys with no shirts on in 10 degree weather with a foot of snow on the ground right behind their bunch taunting them during the game probably made them wonder wtf was going on too :rolleyes:

I also remember Bruschi and Larry Whigham running down the sideline firing guys up during the games - point up to the crowd and saying coming on and the crowd would go fucking nuts. There were some really special moments in that old stadium during the time I went to every game. Maybe it is because I was up close and personal, but I have had my tickets in the new stadium since then and there werent that many moments like that going forward that I recall. Probably the highlight that felt the most old school was when the team celebrated the opening of the new stadium and their first super bowl win on opening night. They played a video montage set to the music from the omen and then for those about to rock by ACDC that lasted about 10 minutes with all the big plays from the previous year. The place was so loud, people were so pumped up, and the whole atmosphere was so electric that I remember thinking I cant believe I am witnessing something like this and the game hasnt even started.

#174 MattCrashDavis

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:20 PM

B. Even if it is that good, the idea that a "hostile" crowd can make it a tough place to play is laughable.

It really is not. There is a direct and obvious disadvantage to being a visiting team in a loud stadium, especially when behind in the game, and especially on big plays where the crowd gets loudest. In the pre-snap period, it's very difficult to call audibles effectively and you see false starts or poor breaks off the snap by the offense all the time in these situations. I don't get into the magical "everyone is rooting for something so it must come true" shit either, but this should be straightforward. Disadvantage overrated? Maybe, depending on how much people rate it. Laughable? No way.

#175 brs3


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:33 PM

Nobody loved BSG more than me. But some of it has gotten old. I find his taste in TV and pop culture borderline feminine to tell you the truth. But, I can't imagine there is a much harder gig than writing the type of thing he does without getting a but stale. There are a lot more people doing his type of thing. Hell my local paper has a sports guy who writes in 1st person and compares Jr. hockey games to episodes of heroes. he is a ripoof of BSG but it makes the original no longer unique. His NBA stuff is still very good.


There's an important lesson here. Don't get married. You'll end up TiVo'ing America's Next Top Model.

#176 drleather2001


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 05:08 PM

It seemed accurate to me. You're carrying on that Simmons' (entirely subjective) opinion that stadiums like Foxboro provided a better experience than Gillette is somehow not a legitimate viewpoint, but you also acknowledge that the new Yankee stadium is likely to be an antiseptic atmosphere. How one can agree that the new Yankee Stadium will lose some of the atmosphere that made the Toilet (for all its faults) a great place to watch a game but not acknowledge the same thing with regard to Foxboro/Gillete doesn't make sense to me.

There's a disconnect there, sport.


You're premise is flawed. Nobody said that the New Yankee Stadium will provide any less of a home field advantage.

Also, Yankee Stadium had a shitty "atmosphere" if you ignore the "history" argument. Cookie Cutter shape, lousy food, constant canned distractions...The only thing good about it is that NY fans generally showed up so there was always a crowd, but that won't change.

I take that back: you're the only one whose argued that it will have a smaller home-field advantage.

Edited by drleather2001, 24 November 2008 - 05:09 PM.


#177 Razor Shines

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 05:42 PM

Yankee Stadium wasn't really cookie cutter. The dimensions were pretty unique and asymmetrical.

It's cousin in Queens, however, was the perfect cookie cutter:

Posted Image

Edited by Razor Shines, 24 November 2008 - 05:43 PM.


#178 88 MVP

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 09:43 PM

Also, Yankee Stadium had a shitty "atmosphere" if you ignore the "history" argument. Cookie Cutter shape, lousy food, constant canned distractions...The only thing good about it is that NY fans generally showed up so there was always a crowd, but that won't change.


I think I might not have been clear on exactly what I meant by atmosphere - I'm talking primarily about crowd noise and how difficult the venue makes things for opponents. I used the soon to open Yankee Stadium as an example because, while the old stadium was a dump, tickets were reasonably obtainable and there was no shortage of rowdy fans packed in there making things miserable for big games of the field. My expectation is that with all the added luxury boxes and higher prices, the new stadium will not be as difficult on opponents.

MattCrashDavis makes a solid point about the tangible effects of crowd noise, and I tend to agree with Jinhocho's recollection of Foxboro being generally a louder and more difficult place to play.

#179 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:21 PM

Just so we are clear.....you guys are talking about Foxboro stadium....right? I mean, one of the most primordial shitholes ever to host a sporting event.....right?

This silliness about Foxboro being loud and boisterous is revisionist history. Foxboro, simply put, was not a place renowned for having fans that could crank it up. Kansas City, Seattle, Washington, Oakland...these are places where the fans can crank it and can impact defensive play calling (there are way more examples in college) but Foxboro was never on that list of "places no one wanted to play."

Jin, a lot of your perception could be attributed pretty simply:

a) You were younger and drunker. Football when you are drunk and passionate is about as great a live sport as there is. You're older.

b) The Pats were up and coming. That is a thrill to be a part of. People talk about how awesome the crowd was in Pedro's first few years.....and it's true, but a chunk of that energy came from the fact that you thought you were seeing a guy who could take us to the promised land. A guy who could take the ball in a must-win game in the Bronx and bring it home......up and coming is one of the most thrilling things to see in sports. Been there and look like they could do it again is also awesome, but not quite as enthralling

c) You don't live in the area and don't go to every game. So you are not in touch with the same group of guys each week, getting into that regular flow. That's an important part of the experience.

#180 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:22 PM

But just to summarize, comparing Foxboro to Yankee Stadium is like comparing a month of sweet, sweet loving with Scarlett Johanssen to slipping and falling in a puddle of vomit and menses.

#181 patinorange


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:34 PM

But just to summarize, comparing Foxboro to Yankee Stadium is like comparing a month of sweet, sweet loving with Scarlett Johanssen to slipping and falling in a puddle of vomit and menses.



I had somewhat the same reaction after reading Simmon's piece. ( Well, maybe not as graphic as your reaction)

I had season tickets throughout the 70's and 80's and that place was miserable hell hole to watch a football game. I missed the apparent glory days of the Parcell's teams where everyone stood up for every play. The only game I stood up the whole time was to boo Chuck Fairbanks and the rest of the team for their miserable performance in their first home playoff game against the Oilers in 78.

I did stand up for a whole BC game against Alabama in 83 I think, because every time I sat down, my ass stuck to the metal bench ( freezing rain)

I'm sure there is some merit in the crazy fan home field advantage theory, and I'm sure that people miss the "old days" at Sullivan / Foxboro. Maybe it's a function of getting old, but I personally like club seats and comfort when I can afford it.

The part of the story that struck me was, yeah, right now, I almost would rather watch the game at home. My last trip to Qualcomm to see the Pats was a logistical nightmare, and most of the time I was wishing I had my big TV with me. And I think most of the fans in San Diego would love to have a state of the art stadium...Qualcomm is also a shit hole.

#182 JayMags71


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:41 PM

But just to summarize, comparing Foxboro to Yankee Stadium is like comparing a month of sweet, sweet loving with Scarlett Johanssen to slipping and falling in a puddle of vomit and menses.

Wrong.

Roseanne Barr's vomit and menses.

#183 Tony C


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:27 AM

Nobody loved BSG more than me. But some of it has gotten old. I find his taste in TV and pop culture borderline feminine to tell you the truth. But, I can't imagine there is a much harder gig than writing the type of thing he does without getting a but stale. There are a lot more people doing his type of thing. Hell my local paper has a sports guy who writes in 1st person and compares Jr. hockey games to episodes of heroes. he is a ripoof of BSG but it makes the original no longer unique. His NBA stuff is still very good.


this is the bottom line. i'm not ripping on "B-Sim" particularly, I still like some of his work and he's a go-to guy for me on the NBA (though not so much so far this year, but I presume that'll change). But this was a truly dumb article, and kind of offensively so. Offensive isn't really the right word....just one of those articles that makes you think, what a douche this guy is. But next good article he writes, I'll suck it down, and I'm certain he has more good stuff in him, he's a pretty talented guy. But I could really do without all the recent navel-gazing, whining, politics, nostalgia for asshole-dom gone by.

#184 ifmanis5


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 08:41 AM

I find his taste in TV and pop culture borderline feminine to tell you the truth.

:)

And you ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

#185 Jinhocho


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:14 AM

Just so we are clear.....you guys are talking about Foxboro stadium....right? I mean, one of the most primordial shitholes ever to host a sporting event.....right?

This silliness about Foxboro being loud and boisterous is revisionist history. Foxboro, simply put, was not a place renowned for having fans that could crank it up. Kansas City, Seattle, Washington, Oakland...these are places where the fans can crank it and can impact defensive play calling (there are way more examples in college) but Foxboro was never on that list of "places no one wanted to play."

Jin, a lot of your perception could be attributed pretty simply:

a) You were younger and drunker. Football when you are drunk and passionate is about as great a live sport as there is. You're older.

b) The Pats were up and coming. That is a thrill to be a part of. People talk about how awesome the crowd was in Pedro's first few years.....and it's true, but a chunk of that energy came from the fact that you thought you were seeing a guy who could take us to the promised land. A guy who could take the ball in a must-win game in the Bronx and bring it home......up and coming is one of the most thrilling things to see in sports. Been there and look like they could do it again is also awesome, but not quite as enthralling

c) You don't live in the area and don't go to every game. So you are not in touch with the same group of guys each week, getting into that regular flow. That's an important part of the experience.


I went when the team sucked - to 4 or 5 games a year - and a lot of what you say about the team when it was bad is true. It did pick up when Parcells came (thats when the season tickets sold out and the waiting list started). The team was a bit uneven - strong one year backsliding the next under Parcells - then declined through the Carroll years (it got ugly at times then) and then picked up with BB. I will say that I never witnessed anything like that first playoff game (Pittsburgh in the fog) in any sport and I have been to baseball and basketball playoff games. The Jacksonville game was the same way. The Tuna Bowls, the games when the Steelers came to town, the Colts game, etc all were just off the charts crazy. The rest were still quite good. I still get pretty drunk when I go (though now its to 2 a year since I am in NC) and have a good time, but I was talking about this same shift when the Pats were still winning titles and I was going to every game.

As for part C, thats a big part of what has been missing in the new stadium. My brother reports the same thing now that he has the tickets week in and week out. When we were in Foxboro it was always the same people around us - good folks and assholes alike - it was a great atmosphere. A good bit of that transferred to the new stadium as it seemed a lot of sections were transferred to a similar section. The first two years in the Razor it was pretty similar - we were further back and the place was not quite as loud - but it was still the same old 300 section. As time went on, more people had their tickets taken away, started selling more of them, or just gave them up. We had two guys down the row who had come every week (they had 4 tickets and mixed in friends each week) for years and sat one row behind us in the old stadium. They lost their tickets when the older of the two pissed in the women's room after waiting over 45 minutes in the men's bathroom line. Those tickets were purchased by a ticket agency and every week it was a different group of people who had the tickets. Sometimes they were good eggs, sometimes punks but they never were as into the game and into the section the way the other folks were. I also had a friend that had been on the waiting list for years. He got tickets in the new stadium - down in the 100s near the endzone. I would walk down at halftimes and occassionally sit down there since a bunch of guys I knew from college/work had tickets down there (all since the new stadium opened). It is like two different games moving down from the upper to the lower level. The upper level is the old Foxboro (and look I say this as a phd and professor) generally blue collar, drunker, rowdier, and definitely less polished than your average college educated masshole. Down stairs, it has some of that (but not much) and is mostly guys dressed better, less drunk, more polite, less passionate and I would wager more educated, wealthier, etc. Think of the Celtics and think old Garden rats and the Fleet with the corporate crowd down front. It is even more pronounced than that at the Razor. To me, thats what Kraft gained and lost in the new stadium. The people who forwhatever reason were on average louder, drunker, more passionate got pushed up to the stratosphere or out and were replaced increasingly by people who go for the marquee games only or want an express lane out or special parking or a catered tailgate get the primo seats and become more than 1/3 of the people at the game. That is a huge shift in the place and in crowd noise etc etc. It doesnt explain everything (as I said I think a lot of people got older who got tickets when Parcells came, the new stadium has different accoustics, and success blunts a fanbase - many of the same points you made - but the Razor has rarely had the same intensity that I witnessed at Foxoboro on a regular basis when the team was middling to good.

#186 CWiggum

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:06 AM

Yammer sort of made this point in his point #2 above, but the Pittsburgh playoff game was the first home playoff game in . . . I don't know, since the 70's maybe? Of course the place is going to be crazier with the anticipation of the first home playoff game in over a decade, versus now when a year without a home playoff game is considered a failure. Expectations have completely shifted, that is a big part of it.

There are a lot of different things we are talking about here, I have mixed memories of the old place. Yeah, there were some fun times there, but the place on the whole was an absolute shithole, and I went to many, many depressing games there, when the team sucked, the place was half empty, and those who were there were mostly blind drunk and looking to get into a fight (and, to address one of Simmons' points, shit yeah it was easier to get in and out of Foxboro back then when the place was only half full versus now when it is packed every game). I will agree that in the good times back then, for a whole bunch of reasons, the crowds tended to be more passionate. But, again, on the whole there is no way I'd go back. The stadium was awful, and at times dangerous. The teams were, at best, pretty good, and generally speaking more times than not they were bad. The last 8 years or so was the height because, as Yammer points out, the team was up and coming and the die hards who had sat on the frozen benches when they sucked were finally being rewarded for their loyalty. But if you look at the history of the old place in its entirety, it was mostly a joke of a team playing in a complete embarassment of a stadium.

The last season (culminating with the last game) at the old place was so magical, if it was a sports movie the whole thing would have been a little unbelievable. I think that is part of why people wax nostalgic about the old place. But, the snowbowl (and the 2001 season) was a one in a lifetime type experience, it didn't matter where those games were played.

On the other hand, I think people are forgetting some of the playoff games in the Blade and downplaying what the crowd has brought to the table. The freezing game against Tennessee in '03, AFC Championship game in the snow with Manning and his 4 picks, and the next year's 20-3 drubbing of the record breaking Colt offense . . . all great games, in poor weather, with a crazy, rowdy crowd.

I don't deny that things have changed, and it isn't all good. But, I wil reiterate, on the whole I simply don't understand a Patriots fan who would rather have it the way it used to be, versus how it is now.

#187 The Allented Mr Ripley


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:15 AM

On the other hand, I think people are forgetting some of the playoff games in the Blade and downplaying what the crowd has brought to the table. The freezing game against Tennessee in '03, AFC Championship game in the snow with Manning and his 4 picks, and the next year's 20-3 drubbing of the record breaking Colt offense . . . all great games, in poor weather, with a crazy, rowdy crowd.


I agree. This is one of the first things I think of when I think of Gillette:

Posted Image

If there's been a recent dropoff in intensity, it has everything to do with the fans in attendance being spoiled and the average guy getting priced out of even being able to go in the first place. I guess the latter has something to do with Gillette, but it's not the architecture of the building that's to blame.

Foxboro Stadium was two concrete slabs set at 35 degree angles. It was an embarrassment, and it sucked.

Edited by The Allented Mr Ripley, 25 November 2008 - 01:05 PM.


#188 brs3


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:37 AM

Posted Image

This is exactly what I think as well.

#189 drleather2001


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:51 AM

Just for reference.
Posted Image

#190 Jinhocho


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:37 PM

Yammer sort of made this point in his point #2 above, but the Pittsburgh playoff game was the first home playoff game in . . . I don't know, since the 70's maybe? Of course the place is going to be crazier with the anticipation of the first home playoff game in over a decade, versus now when a year without a home playoff game is considered a failure. Expectations have completely shifted, that is a big part of it.

There are a lot of different things we are talking about here, I have mixed memories of the old place. Yeah, there were some fun times there, but the place on the whole was an absolute shithole, and I went to many, many depressing games there, when the team sucked, the place was half empty, and those who were there were mostly blind drunk and looking to get into a fight (and, to address one of Simmons' points, shit yeah it was easier to get in and out of Foxboro back then when the place was only half full versus now when it is packed every game). I will agree that in the good times back then, for a whole bunch of reasons, the crowds tended to be more passionate. But, again, on the whole there is no way I'd go back. The stadium was awful, and at times dangerous. The teams were, at best, pretty good, and generally speaking more times than not they were bad. The last 8 years or so was the height because, as Yammer points out, the team was up and coming and the die hards who had sat on the frozen benches when they sucked were finally being rewarded for their loyalty. But if you look at the history of the old place in its entirety, it was mostly a joke of a team playing in a complete embarassment of a stadium.

The last season (culminating with the last game) at the old place was so magical, if it was a sports movie the whole thing would have been a little unbelievable. I think that is part of why people wax nostalgic about the old place. But, the snowbowl (and the 2001 season) was a one in a lifetime type experience, it didn't matter where those games were played.

On the other hand, I think people are forgetting some of the playoff games in the Blade and downplaying what the crowd has brought to the table. The freezing game against Tennessee in '03, AFC Championship game in the snow with Manning and his 4 picks, and the next year's 20-3 drubbing of the record breaking Colt offense . . . all great games, in poor weather, with a crazy, rowdy crowd.

I don't deny that things have changed, and it isn't all good. But, I wil reiterate, on the whole I simply don't understand a Patriots fan who would rather have it the way it used to be, versus how it is now.


Chief - remember the crowd chanting 18 years as the team took the field?

#191 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:39 PM

Chief - remember the crowd chanting 18 years as the team took the field?

I was at that fog game against Pitt and I don't remember that, oddly enough. People were psyched, sure, but in my memory the game wasn't as loud as some others I've attended.

I do not agree that with the nicer stadia comes lesser-involved fans. The Celtics and the Bruins entered down periods upon starting their time at the Fleet/TD Banknorth. That's the main reason the crowds were subdued. With success comes more enthusiastic crowds. Anyone who saw the crowd going crazy during Game 6 against Montreal this past spring would be hard pressed to find a more involved crowd. Ask any number of folks here who attended Celtics games last year how the crowds were.

#192 Jinhocho


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:41 PM

Yammer sort of made this point in his point #2 above, but the Pittsburgh playoff game was the first home playoff game in . . . I don't know, since the 70's maybe? Of course the place is going to be crazier with the anticipation of the first home playoff game in over a decade, versus now when a year without a home playoff game is considered a failure. Expectations have completely shifted, that is a big part of it.

There are a lot of different things we are talking about here, I have mixed memories of the old place. Yeah, there were some fun times there, but the place on the whole was an absolute shithole, and I went to many, many depressing games there, when the team sucked, the place was half empty, and those who were there were mostly blind drunk and looking to get into a fight (and, to address one of Simmons' points, shit yeah it was easier to get in and out of Foxboro back then when the place was only half full versus now when it is packed every game). I will agree that in the good times back then, for a whole bunch of reasons, the crowds tended to be more passionate. But, again, on the whole there is no way I'd go back. The stadium was awful, and at times dangerous. The teams were, at best, pretty good, and generally speaking more times than not they were bad. The last 8 years or so was the height because, as Yammer points out, the team was up and coming and the die hards who had sat on the frozen benches when they sucked were finally being rewarded for their loyalty. But if you look at the history of the old place in its entirety, it was mostly a joke of a team playing in a complete embarassment of a stadium.

The last season (culminating with the last game) at the old place was so magical, if it was a sports movie the whole thing would have been a little unbelievable. I think that is part of why people wax nostalgic about the old place. But, the snowbowl (and the 2001 season) was a one in a lifetime type experience, it didn't matter where those games were played.

On the other hand, I think people are forgetting some of the playoff games in the Blade and downplaying what the crowd has brought to the table. The freezing game against Tennessee in '03, AFC Championship game in the snow with Manning and his 4 picks, and the next year's 20-3 drubbing of the record breaking Colt offense . . . all great games, in poor weather, with a crazy, rowdy crowd.

I don't deny that things have changed, and it isn't all good. But, I wil reiterate, on the whole I simply don't understand a Patriots fan who would rather have it the way it used to be, versus how it is now.


I think you state this quite nicely and I tend to agree. It just really bothers me when people disregard those years or dismiss some of the laments of people (most of whom were there longer than me) about how much things have changed. Hell, when we went up to Buffalo five years ago that place really reminded me of the old Foxboro in a lot ways - rowdy crowd, great tailgate, inexpensive experience, etc etc etc.

#193 Freddy Linn


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:40 PM

I will say that I never witnessed anything like that first playoff game (Pittsburgh in the fog) in any sport and I have been to baseball and basketball playoff games. The Jacksonville game was the same way.



Since this is the media forum, I will toss this in. I was at the Pittsburgh game and the insanely cold Jax game (my buddy spent most of his time roaming around the parking lot with only a pair of Pats boxers on). I don't think my now mid-30s prism is so cloudy as to say that was the most crazy experience of my football lifetime, and perhaps of my live sporting event viewing experience. There were only two people in my immediate 300s vicinity sitting down while everyone else stood the entire game.

Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson.

#194 Jinhocho


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:55 PM

Since this is the media forum, I will toss this in. I was at the Pittsburgh game and the insanely cold Jax game (my buddy spent most of his time roaming around the parking lot with only a pair of Pats boxers on). I don't think my now mid-30s prism is so cloudy as to say that was the most crazy experience of my football lifetime, and perhaps of my live sporting event viewing experience. There were only two people in my immediate 300s vicinity sitting down while everyone else stood the entire game.

Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson.


We walked out the game so fired up we went out the wrong end of the stadium, some guy handed my cousin a bottle of jack to take a slug and he kept it and we just passed it around between us and anyone else we came across on our short walk. We were reminded that you couldnt go out the south end zone hang a left and work back around to the north (home sideline) side of the stadim. Instead there was a big hill with lots of rocks sticking out of the snow. People were sledding down the hill to get to the bottom rocks and all. One my greatest memories is seeing my cousin (a former college lineman) go flying down the hill cradling the open bottle of jack in his arm so nothing would happen to it.

Another note - we had a guy who still sits in front of our seats (old and new stadiums) and he showed up in the 3rd quarter wearing no shirt. He had been too drunk to get in in the first quarter (quite a fear in those days) and had just tailgated in the parking lot until they lessened the security around the edges of the stadium. He climbed the fence and came up in the third quarter. Can you imagine running around for a few hours on that day with no shirt and then climbing a fence to get in?


Edit: FWIW - someone in our section gave the shirtless guy a sweatshirt and he bought something else to wear in the game, but it still just amazes me he didnt get hypothermia.

Edited by Jinhocho, 25 November 2008 - 03:06 PM.


#195 mandurro

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 07:27 PM

New podcast up, with a disclaimer at the start! Looks like some fences have been mended.

#196 Jinhocho


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:07 PM

New podcast up, with a disclaimer at the start! Looks like some fences have been mended.


Details?

#197 Hambone


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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:55 PM

Details?


At the start of the Podcast Simmons says the 'B.S. report is a free flowing conversation that occasionally touches upon mature subjects.' before the intro starts.

After the intro he acknowledges the hiatus before starting the conversation, but gives no further detail. As they continue they talk about how they've continued making their line picks the last few weeks and Simmons has been killing him. Cousin Sal then makes fun of Bill saying that he threw the picks because he pitied Bill as he moped around complaining 'ESPN no longer likes me [Simmons].'

No breaking news information though.