There is no shortage of stylish soccer players worldwide -- and next Wednesday at The Langham in Boston, a few of the Revolution will be among them.
Along with several of the players' wives, six New England footballers will model looks from Ted Baker London's Spring/Summer line in an effort to raise money for America SCORES, a charity organization that integrates soccer, poetry, and service-learning into team-based programs in urban schools.
Held at BOND restaurant and lounge and emceed by Channel 7's Sarah French, the fashion show will feature Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Andy Dorman, Lee Nguyen, Saer Sene, and A.J. Soares strutting down the runway wearing Ted Baker and stylized by the hair and make-up artists from Dellaria Salons & Spas.
The 21-plus event begins Wednesday night at 7:30, and tickets are available here for $25. A limited number will also be available at the door on the night of the event, while there are also $50 tickets that include access to a 6:30 VIP reception.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski joined ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" on Wednesday morning, and while promoting the Madden 25 Cover Vote -- in which he's advanced to the second round, currently facing soon-to-be-ex-Jet Darrelle Revis -- he also talked about an off-the-field life that's become quite public over the past 14 months.
"Uhh, it's a little different," Gronkowski answered when host Mike Greenberg asked what it's like having the spotlight on him the way the tight end now does.
"I mean, growing up, just doing whatever you want -- no one looking at you, no one really caring. And now you go out, I mean, I was in the airport on the way here and it's like everyone has a camera out videoing me walking through the airport. So it's weird at first, but you can't let it get to your head at all, affect you at all. Just keep doing what you've been doing since Day 1, which I have been."
Gronkowski was so visible last year, the offseason became referred to as "The Summer of Gronk." This offseason seemed to start on a similar track, when pictures of him partying shirtless surfaced around the time of February's Super Bowl, and video showed him wrestling with a friend on a Las Vegas stage.
In that video he appeared to land on the forearm that he broke last November, then again in January, but when Greenberg asked Gronkowski if there is any legitimacy to criticism saying he could hurt his arm again, the tight end indicated that he wouldn't put himself in danger.
"Um, I mean, they're my fans. They're looking out for (me)," he said. "They're big fans of the Patriots, they just want to see the team do well, and I totally understand where the fans are coming (from) where they don't want myself to put myself in jeopardy of getting hurt. I totally understand that, and I would never do that -- put myself in jeopardy. To the max, I love going out there and competing, and performing to the best of my ability, and I love going out there and playing. So I understand where they're coming from; they just don't want to see me hurt again, and that's totally understandable."
At the NFL's annual meeting earlier this month, coach Bill Belichick gave the impression he was not happy with Gronkowski and his offseason. Some have speculated that the Patriots have spoken to Gronkowski about toning things down -- though, if they have, the tight end isn't saying.
"Whatever I talk about (with) the Patriots, we stay confidential. We really don't give anything out," he said. "Basically, just coming from myself, just got to watch out -- who's out there, who's watching and everything. Basically, I mean, I just keep doing what I've been doing since Day 1. That's what got me here, this far. I'm just going to keep grinding hard, keep working hard, and keep hustling."
Gronk spent the rest of Wednesday morning making the rounds of various ESPN programs, and was scheduled to chat online at 1:45 p.m. If Gronkowski gets past Revis in the Madden vote, his likely next opponent in the "New School" bracket is NFL MVP Adrian Peterson. Tedy Bruschi was the Patriots' representative on the "Old School" side of the contest, but he was eliminated in the first round.
A day before going to Bristol, the tight end was in upstate New York, where one of the fans who's worried about Gronkowski had a chance to deliver that message in person -- thanks to an altogether different type of offseason appearance. Here's what happened, thanks to Buffalo's WKBW.
As the Red Sox announce a discount on beers at Fenway Park next month, the Bruins -- not to be outdone -- are apparently offering a little extra with their frosty beverages.
As he stalked the bench during Monday night's 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs, B's assistant coach Geoff Ward removed the earpiece from his right ear and haphazardly tossed it over his head. Not sure where he thought it would land, but it cleared the glass and appears to have landed in the beer cup held by a first-row fan -- who had just lowered it from his lips after taking a sip, and who then looked confusedly skyward.
Perfect timing for the most unsanitary of souvenirs. Or so we thought.
UPDATE: Earpiece-gate has taken another (hilarious) turn. After the above video made its way to all corners of the Internet, the Bruins put together the following video -- which contends that it wasn't actually an earpiece that flew over the glass. Watch the clip to see what it was.
Now think about how what had to happen to make that look the way it did. Seriously. Ward fixes his earpiece. Puts his hand down. Tyler Seguin's hand flies up, with the smelling salts. Meanwhile, the fan takes a sip. Then the fan finishes his sip, and brings the beer down at the perfect angle to catch the falling container.
Even Hollywood's best couldn't have choreographed that well enough to pull it off in one take.
Since 1993, the Red Sox have called Fort Myers their spring training home. Over time, some have taken to calling it The Fort, for short. But after this past weekend, folks may be ready to rename it altogether.
Its new identity? Dunk City.
After its 15th-seeded basketball team stunned the hoops world by knocking off No. 2 Georgetown on Friday night, Florida Gulf Coast University's official Twitter account told its followers, "When people ask you where FGCU is, just tell them Dunk City, Florida!" -- and as the Eagles have become the biggest story of March Madness, their neighbors in Dunk City have hopped on the bandwagon with both feet.
The bandwagon needs even more room now, after Florida Gulf Coast beat San Diego State on Sunday to become the first 15 seed ever to reach the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16, though with JetBlue Park less than 10 miles from the Eagles' campus the Red Sox were among the first wave of excitement, and took to Twitter to voice their support.
In fact, if this Tweet between Brock Holt and Mike Napoli is true, Napoli was a believer in the Eagles even before they took out the Hoyas:
As Friday was unfolding, Will Middlebrooks was surprised at first. "FGCU is hangin with Georgetown!!!! This is crazy!!!" he wrote. But then he saw something that convinced him an upset was possible -- and he couldn't pull his eyes away.
FGCU just has that look in their eyes right now. #Confidence— Will Middlebrooks (@middlebrooks) March 23, 2013
Congrats FGCU!!! Huge Win... Ft. Myers will be celebrating tonight#MarchMadness— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) March 23, 2013
If you're not watching Florida Gulf Coast you should be, classic basketball, out hustle and move the ball! @clarson5 would be proud— Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan52) March 23, 2013
Been in fort Myers nice for my third spring training...hell yea I'm rooting for FGCU!!!— bryce brentz (@Bbrentz7) March 23, 2013
Then came Sunday.
Florida Gulf Coast isn't playing any games! They are for real. It is hype at every restaurant in Ft. Myers since we are in their backyard.— Jackie Bradley Jr. (@JackieBradleyJr) March 25, 2013
Soar with the Eagles! FGCU #Sweet16— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) March 25, 2013
The Eagles next take the court Friday night, against Florida, at 9:57 p.m. Thankfully, the Red Sox and Twins play at 1 that afternoon -- so their ballparks will be empty by then, and all of Dunk City will have a chance to watch.
During his Houston radio show on Friday, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson was asked by a caller, "Of all of the players who he played with, who's got the ugliest spouse?"
Johnson and his co-host laughed about it for a minute, as the three-time Super Bowl champion appeared to contemplate the question (and perhaps the wisdom of answering it), and before long he reached his conclusion. He tried to cushion the answer by saying this teammate was a great guy, and that he had his way with the Texans this season, but then he divulged.
"Gosh," Johnson said. "He won't hear this: Vince Wilfork."
Oh, he heard it all right. And the Patriots defensive lineman went to Twitter to tell Johnson he isn't happy about what he heard.
Wrote Wilfork, with letters instead of asterisks: "your barking up the wrong tree I hear and see everything m***** f*****"
A couple minutes later, Wilfork wrote "Let me apologize to my fans in advance of whatever I may say today but I do not play when it comes to my family."
After that Johnson jumped on Twitter to apologize to his fellow 2004 champ, doing so over the course of two Tweets.
"I just made a huge error in judgement and want to apologize to Vince and his wife for comments I made earlier today on a Houston radio show," he wrote. "Vince and his family are outstanding people who I have admired since they arrived in NE. I learned a big lesson today and feel terrible."
Timestamped one minute after the second of those Tweets (so we don't know if he saw the apology beforehand), Wilfork posted this to Johnson: (Again, the language is a bit adult in places.)
Thus far there's been no Twitter reaction from Bianca Wilfork (@mrs75), except for retweets of each her husband's messages.
But certainly stay tuned.
Those of you who stayed tuned, we have an UPDATE: Johnson has apologized again, saying he did so personally to the Wilforks.
I have personally apologized to the family and feel awful.It was a huge error in judgment and I'm sorry for upsetting Vince's family.— Ted Johnson (@TedJ52) March 22, 2013
The last thing I will say about this is that I understand the criticism will own my poor decision.— Ted Johnson (@TedJ52) March 22, 2013
Prior to that, Bianca Wilfork Tweeted this:
Thanks 4all the great tweets I know u guys are waiting for me to go off but I'm good trust me I love me and I love that my husband loves me— bianca wilfork (@mrs75) March 22, 2013
And, like her husband, she posted a statement as a picture. Using Instagram, she wrote, "In this day and age people forget to realize its not about looks weight money or status. My relationship with my husband of 9 years and together for 12 years is about being real, being in love, building each other up and having each others back those things can't be measured determines or valued by looks or money. Those things shine in the darkest times and relish in the best. Love all the support but trust me I'm good."
The forecast says Saturday's high will be 42 in Boston. Temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean will be a few degrees chillier than that. It won't exactly be a beach day.
But if he can raise enough money, Matt Light would be happy to go for a swim.
The Patriots' long-time left tackle will be on hand for the Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash, which benefits Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and if Light can raise $30,000 himself before the noon plunge he'll join the group splashing into Boston Harbor at the M Street Beach in Southie.
Either way Light will be there for the event, which eventually spills into the L Street Tavern to let participants warm up, but he claims he's only getting wet if the donors dictate it with their dollars. There's no word on what his "finest cupid attire" would entail, but half of the money donated on his behalf will go to restoring and protecting the Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment -- while the other half will go toward his Matt Light Foundation.
"I've made some pretty big splashes in my day but this one is going to be for a great cause!!" Light wrote on the Cupid Splash website. "If you donate you will not only help Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, but 1/2 the proceeds we raise will go towards our charity -- The Light Foundation!
"Through our programs we are instilling the values of responsibility, accountability, and hard work by providing at-risk kids with unique outdoor learning experiences. These experiences assist them in reaching their highest potential. Our goal is to lead young people down a path to becoming responsible members of their communities who are capable of passing on the torch of leadership and achievement to their friends and families."
A few athletes with local ties have joined President Obama and entered their brackets into ESPN's Tournament Challenge -- including Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, whose two years at Kentucky apparently didn't fill him with enough venom to keep him from picking Louisville (his hometown school) to cut down the nets come early April.
In addition to Rondo and teammate Jordan Crawford at ESPN, Jason Terry, Chris Wilcox, Courtney Lee, and D.J. White also made public their picks at Celtics.com. Here's a look at all of their brackets:
Biggest upset: No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Michigan State, Kansas vs. Georgetown, Gonzaga vs. Ohio State, Miami vs. Syracuse
Final Four: Louisville vs. Ohio State, Georgetown vs. Miami
National championship: Louisville over Miami
Rondo likes the favorites. His Elite Eight includes No. 3 MSU and No. 4 Syracuse, while the rest are 1 and 2 seeds. His Final Four is three 2 seeds and top-ranked Louisville. Interesting to note, too, is that he thinks Tubby Smith -- the coach he supposedly clashed with at Kentucky -- pulls his biggest first-round upset.
Biggest upset: No. 11 Minnesota over No. 2 Georgetown
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Michigan State, Michigan vs. Minnesota, Wisconsin vs. Arizona, Indiana vs. Marquette
Final Four: Michigan State vs. Arizona, Michigan vs. Indiana
National championship: Michigan over Arizona
The Celtic guard is a native of Detroit, which probably explains his pick of the Wolverines -- and two Michigan teams getting to Atlanta. His picks also seemed to be influenced by the year he played at Indiana, and big-time respect for the Big 10, which comprises five of his final eight and three quarters of his Final Four.
Biggest upset: No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Oklahoma State
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Duke, Kansas vs. Florida, Kansas State vs. Ohio State, North Carolina State vs. Miami
Final Four: Louisville vs. Ohio State, Kansas vs. Miami
National championship: Miami 79, Louisville 71
Not a very daring bracket from the former Patriots tight end, who predicts that 28 of the 32 first-round games will go to the better-seeded team. His boldest pick comes in the second round, where he says No. 8 NC State will take out No. 1 Indiana in the East, then follow that up by knocking off No. 4 Syracuse. He then sees the Wolfpack losing to Miami, however, setting up a Final Four with two 1s and two 2s.
Biggest upset: No. 13 LaSalle over No. 4 Kansas State
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Duke, Michigan vs. Florida, Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, Indiana vs. Miami
Final Four: Louisville vs. Ohio State, Florida vs. Indiana
National championship: Indiana over Louisville
The President expects that Wisconsin (as the West's No. 5 seed) will be the only team seeded beyond fourth to even reach the Sweet 16. Here we were thinking he was a liberal. By and large, his bracket is quite conservative.
Biggest upset: No. 13 New Mexico State over No. 4 St. Louis
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Memphis, Kansas vs. Georgetown, Kansas State vs. Ohio State, Syracuse vs. Miami
Final Four: Louisville vs. Ohio State, Kansas vs. Syracuse
National championship: Louisville over Kansas
You can see that the former Wildcat had an inclination to go with his alma mater in the Sweet 16 -- actually writing "Arizona" before crossing it out -- but ultimately picked Ohio State to beat Arizona. He thinks the Buckeyes are good enough to play in Atlanta, and sometimes head overrules heart.
Biggest upset: No. 16 Western Kentucky over No. 1 Kansas
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Duke, Michigan vs. Georgetown, Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, Indiana vs. Miami
Final Four: Louisville vs. Wisconsin, Georgetown vs. Miami
National championship: Wisconsin over Miami
Sometimes heart overrules head, too, as is evident by Western Kentucky's own Lee picking his school to knock off No. 1 Kansas -- and then No. 8 North Carolina, before falling to Michigan. Gotta respect that, as well as stepping outside the box to pick fifth-seeded Wisconsin to win it all.
Biggest upset: No. 13 New Mexico State over No. 4 St. Louis
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Duke, Kansas vs. Florida, Gonzaga vs. Ohio State, Indiana vs. Miami
Final Four: Louisville vs. Ohio State, Kansas vs. Miami
National championship: Louisville 64, Kansas 58
Wilcox sees the biggest upset the same way Terry does, and three of their Final Four are the same, as well. Don't forget, those two have street cred in this thing: They've both been on teams that have won this tournament (Terry at Arizona in 1997, Wilcox at Maryland in 2002).
Biggest upset: No. 11 Bucknell over No. 3 Marquette
Elite Eight: Louisville vs. Michigan State, Kansas vs. Florida, Gonzaga vs. Ohio State, Indiana vs. Miami
Final Four: Louisville vs. Ohio State, Florida vs. Indiana
National championship: Indiana over Louisville
The former Indiana big man sticks to his roots and takes the Hoosiers to hoist the hardware. White ends up with seven of the same Elite Eight teams as Wilcox, but gets there via a slightly different route, forecasting a number of upsets among the middle seeds, most notably No. 11 Bucknell over No. 6 Butler, which leads into Bucknell then beating Marquette.
Unreal Candy is sending the Easter Bunny all around to apologize for giving kids candy with artificial sweeteners all these years, and during his (her?) journey the sorry bunny has bumped into a number of celebrities, including the Patriots' Tom Brady, who joins his wife in endorsing the candy and has filmed other funny videos for the company in the past.
Check out the clip above to see the quarterback teach the bunny how to celebrate after a touchdown -- and also to see what appears to be a black splint on the index finger of Brady's throwing hand. We're not sure when the ad was filmed, but it appears to have been somewhat recently, based on the fact Brady still had that finger bandaged in Costa Rica over the weekend.
The good news is that if there's an injury it didn't keep him from riding an ATV ... or from taking off the splint and throwing, as the video below shows in a very official, definitive, serious piece of evidence. Patriots fans can certainly relax. Unless that's Danny Amendola in the bunny suit.
Bill Belichick is answering questions via Twitter, the Celtics are getting blown out by the Bobcats, the Bruins are regularly blowing third-period leads ... and now Terry Francona is dancing. It's been a weird 24 hours on the Boston sports landscape, we'll say that.
Hours after the official start of the NFL free-agent signing period, Bill Belichick wasn't hunkered down in his office, or staring down an agent during negotiations, or plying his football charm with a prospective Patriot. He wasn't hammering out the details of a deal with Wes Welker, either. Nope.
He was sitting home, hanging with his main squeeze, and answering questions posed to him by her Twitter followers.
Courtesy of Linda Holliday's Twitter feed, here's a look at the enlightening session, full of answers the length of which press-conference-attending Patriots reporters can particularly appreciate:
Self-deprecating humility or a glimpse into how he feels about his staff? We'll let you decide.
Now we're into the important issues -- though it's not quite a revelation. Belichick revealed a few years ago that he cut the sleeves off his sweatshirts because he has short arms; he used to just push them up.
I would've guessed Canton, Ohio, but Italy's nice, too.
And within a week of daylight savings time. This is progress.
It was indeed a great moment. And for just $165, he can remember it forever.
Surprising that a trendsetter like him isn't going to South by Southwest, really.
Family time & fishingRT @pco1128: What is his favorite part of the offseason, evaluating talent/trying find pieces to the puzzle?— Linda Holliday (@Linda_Holliday) March 13, 2013
Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate. It's peppermint. It's delicious!
If you had a song dedicated to you by your favorite artist, it'd probably be your favorite, too.
We see the softer side of Bill.
Belichick does love himself some Tony La Russa.
And, of course, they'd both be wearing matching fedoras.
A slice of Paris in Palm Beach. Classy.
Maybe the most revealing answer of all. Deep down, it's defense over offense.
And it ends with an answer so predictable that the question didn't even need to be asked.
As someone who has also shared the benches under the bleachers of Walter Brown Arena with Jack Parker, after games that left him in moods both good and bad, I wholly endorse the sentiments shared by Bruins play-by-play man Dave Goucher on Monday. "As a student he treated me like a member of the mainstream media," tweeted the BU alum. "Didn't have to, but he did."
Parker retired this afternoon after 40 years behind the Boston University bench, a legendary tenure during which he won more games for one school than any coach in Div. I hockey history, and helped countless sports journalists to find their skating legs, both in this city and throughout the greater hockey community. As such, Goucher's thoughts have been echoed repeatedly since the news first leaked on Sunday night.
But the better measure of a coach is the way his players feel about him -- and for that, we turn back to Twitter. Here's a sampling of what some former Terriers, including several members of the 2009 national champions, and a couple 1980 Olympic champs, wanted the world to know.
Congrats to BU coach Jack Parker. 40 years as HC and 5 national titles doesnt begin to describe his impact on myself and many others#legend— Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) March 11, 2013
Can't say enough about Coach Parker, took BU and made it into one of the best programs in the country! Couldn't have asked for a better— Nick Bonino (@NickBonino) March 11, 2013
Congrats to a jack Parker a great coach a better person he will be missed enjoy some sailing jack— Jim Craig (@JimCraigUSA) March 11, 2013
Coach Parker - Thank you for three of my best hockey years and congratulations on such a great career. The BU hockey community would be...— Kevin Shattenkirk (@shattdeuces) March 11, 2013
Nonexistent without you. Thank you for the opportunity to succeed and believing in me. All the best and happy sailing! #legend— Kevin Shattenkirk (@shattdeuces) March 11, 2013
Congrats to Jack Parker on a more than successful career. A legend for the game, and I am honored to be able to call him coach. I wanna...— Colby Cohen (@ColbyCohen36) March 11, 2013
Wish him and his family nothing but the best in life after hockey and I am glad to no I can call him a friend an mentor. #proudtoBU— Colby Cohen (@ColbyCohen36) March 11, 2013
Tough to sum up a man like Jack Parker's legacy in 160 characters. But congrats to my former coach and an even better person #BUathletics— David Warsofsky (@DaveWarsofsky5) March 11, 2013
Congratulations to coach Jack Parker on such a successful and illustrious career at BU. Learned a lot in a short time from a brilliant man.— chris bourque (@cbourque17) March 11, 2013
3 o'clock today a legend retires couldn't be more happier and prouder of a man to play for and to call my friend congratulations Jack— MIKE ERUZIONE (@MERUZIONE) March 11, 2013
Congrats Coach! Thank you for instilling such great qualities in all of us fortunate enough to have worn scarlet. I will forever be grateful— Cleon Daskalakis (@CleonD35) March 11, 2013
Not much that hasnt been said already, but was a privilege to wear the jersey and play for coach. Neither should be taken for granted. #gobu— Kevin Schaeffer (@kschaeff3) March 11, 2013
Congratulations to one of the most storied people in hockey on such a legendary career. It was an honor to play for you. Thank u...— Adam Clendening (@Clenny5) March 11, 2013
For giving me a chance to wear a BU jersey and believing in me. I had great memories that'll last a lifetime. Thank u and enjoy it "coach"— Adam Clendening (@Clenny5) March 11, 2013
RT @joepereira91 Just wanted to Congratulate Coach Parker, what he built Boston University into an everything he went through in his life is— Friends of BU Hockey (@BU_FoH) March 11, 2013
RT @joepereira91 simply amazing And I truly look up to him as a role model... He changed and impacted so many lives including my own. I feel— Friends of BU Hockey (@BU_FoH) March 11, 2013
RT @joepereira91 privilege and honor to play For him and call him my coach, but a lifetime friend... The best quote I could think of is— Friends of BU Hockey (@BU_FoH) March 11, 2013
Jay Pandolfo calls time at BU w/Jack Parker four of best years of his life.— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) March 11, 2013
Jack Parker's on-ice legacy irrelevant vs. thousands of lives he improved.— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) March 11, 2013
Complete with catcher David Ross playing weatherman, Dustin Pedroia getting freaked out by his disembodied head, David Ortiz scaring a cameraman, and plenty of tongue-tying script reading, here are some of the outtakes from the Red Sox' recent photo day.
Best part is that you don't even have to wait until the end of the movie.
Bruins Coach Claude Julien made some pointed comments Sunday night about the way the Canadiens tend to embellish contact in hopes of drawing penalties, then Montreal forward Max Pacioretty said Monday the commentary was prompted by jealousy -- and now a Vancouver Canucks fan has used YouTube to enter the fray as something of a third man in.
It's the latest creation from user MAKAVELI719696 -- whose avatar is the Canucks logo, and whose previous work includes a 15-minute clip called, "Poke the Bear Part I," in which he mocks the Bruins by mixing some of the team's lowlights with clips from Jon Stewart's "Daily Show"; Stephen Colbert is the muse in "Poke the Bear Part II." This new one is entitled, "Embellishment City."
It begins with Julien and his comments, and targets Brad Marchand as Boston's most egregious embellisher. It also shows Shawn Thornton falling after a hit near the boards -- though it's worth noting that the Jack Edwards audio that accompanies that footage was not actually the NESN announcer's call for that play.
Here is the video, which, incidentally, had 701 "likes" compared with 32 "dislikes" as of Tuesday morning:
Clearly some with rooting interests in the Pacific Northwest aren't yet over the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.