Before we get to a quick media note and a link to this week's column, priorities. Check out the upcoming 2011 Topps card of Carl Crawford, showing off his fancy new work clothes. It comes courtesy of the Topps Twitter feed. Pretty sweet, and yet another reason I wish that inevitable Lombardi Trophy could just be collected already so we can zip ahead to spring training.
By the way, since this image is obviously airbrushed or photoshopped or some done up with some other digital trickeration, it's possible that we're looking at Crawford swipe one of his 62 bases in 66 tries against the Red Sox through the years. Somewhere, Jason Varitek just twitched and doesn't know why. (Actually, upon further review, the background suggests the picture was taken during a Rays-Rangers game. But we're going to ignore that. It's the magic of Carl Crawford as a Red Sox stealing against the Red Sox, and I'm not backing down. Poor Tek just twitched again.)
Anyway, to slightly less sports-dorky pursuits . . .
Today's media column, leading with the Patriots' remarkable run in the Nielsen ratings this season, can be found here. There's also a note about Bob Neumeier checkin' in full-time at Comcast SportsNet New England, a good and logical move on their part. But there was another item about something cool CSNNE is doing that I wanted to get in but didn't for space reasons.
Starting tonight at 7, the network will debut the first two games from its Old School series -- vintage games of current Celtics stars during their college years that will run over the next three days. As you might suspect, I love this idea. Classic Sports was one of the stations programmed into my remote back in the day before ESPN bought it and turned it into a dumping ground for old poker tournaments and bowling matches. And then Time Warner, my cable provider in Maine, put it on the sports tier. Not that I'm resentful. I was just beginning to enjoy the six straight hours of "American Gladiator" reruns.
The Celtics, with all of their star power, are the perfect team for something like this on a national level, let alone on a local one. Tonight's opener features Ray Allen -- with hair, looking about 15 years old, pre-Jesus Shuttlesworth and already possessing that gorgeous shooting stroke -- dropping 36 on UCLA during the 1995 NCAA Tournament. Pretty sure Donny Marshall makes more than a cameo in this one, too.
The rest of the schedule:
- Tonight, 11 p.m., replayed tomorrow at noon: Paul Pierce and Kansas against Arizona. If they listen to my advice, there will be a large black bar over Raef LaFrentz at all times.
- Tomorrow, 2 p.m. Rajon Rondo and Kentucky take on Michigan State in the tournament. Pretty sure this is the one where Billy Packer referenced Rondo's huge hands at least 25 times.
- Tomorrow, 4 p.m. Skinny Shaq, LSU, 1990. Need I say more? I don't think I do. Only wish this one was from the year he played with Chris Jackson.
- Tomorrow, 8 p.m. Big Baby, LSU, 2006. I will say more: This came during the Regional Final against Texas, when he became a national phenomenon for a time.
- Sunday, 4 p.m. Moonlighting Blue Jays second baseman Danny Ainge and BYU during the '81 tournament against Notre Dame. If you don't already know the ending to this one, you probably have no interest in watching anyway.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.