Welcome back to Glamour Profession, the NBA podcast here at halphillips.net. Last year at about this time, the Celtics faced off with the Heat in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series, trailing 3 games to 1. Your pod host, Hal Phillips, was in New Zealand. Heading out to play the back nine at Kauri Cliffs Golf Club, some 17 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time, he checked the Game 5 score in the clubhouse — Boston led Miami by 8 with 2 plus minutes remaining. Standing over his approach on no. 10, his playing partner consulted the Blackberry and reported the game and series were over — the Celts having failed to score in those last 2 minutes. Well, here we are again, this time in the Eastern Conference finals. Both teams are beat up, short-handed by major injuries and seemingly inferior to either team contesting the Western Conference Finals, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. We caught up with the GP’s resident sage, Jammin’ Jim Jackson, at halftime of Sunday night’s Spurs-Thunder game to discuss that match-up and the pending Heat-Celtics series, which kicks off Monday night.
Great to be with Peter Kessler, again, on his radio show, “Making the Turn,” a staple of the PGA Tour Network. It’s on XM, and this aired a week back but I reckoned I’d share it with you here, under Curmudgeon guise, as a podcast. Ireland vs. Scotland is the burning question. We answer that and touch on course development in Asia, GPS in rental cars, what makes a course worth playing over and over, and more Eire antics. Got to know Peter better during our recent Irish golf trip. The guy is a serious Beatles fan, which explains his show’s segue music. Enjoy.
Welcome to the Unsightly American Soccer Podcast for, well, the onset of offseason. The Gold Cup has ended, and we covered that in the first half of the pod, posted last week here at halphillips.net. This week we wrap the European season first with Spencer Robinson, soccer pundit with ESPN Asia. We spoke to him from Singapore about the seemingly imminent departure of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal, the club Spencer supports, from a distance. This proved a nice segue to our discussion with Stephen Myers re. what might have been the most eventful season in Spanish futbol history. As our discussions normally go with Esteban, this one proved provacative and wide-ranging: Prem vs. La Liga, Barca vs. Real, Spanish élan vs. thuggery from all quarters. And while the Real-Barca saga has lessened in volume, for now, it all starts up again, in earnest, at the beginning of August. I’m your host Hal Phillips. The conversation starts right now…
Behold, the Unsightly American Soccer Podcast for the week of June 27, 2011. The Gold Cup has concluded, and the Mexicans, by virtue of their 4-2 victory, have laid claim to biannual honors as top dog in CONCACAF. This is our Federation, of course, the agglomeration of North American, Central American and Caribbean countries that holds a World Cup Qualifying tournament every four years, and every two years conducts its own championship, The Gold Cup. It’s nearly always held here in the U.S. — we’ve got the stadia, the corporate backing, the ease of travel, etc. But Mexico’s got the fans. Of the 100,000 who packed the Rose Bowl Saturday night, June 25, for the Gold Cup final, 80,000 were in green. Tom Wadlington joins your host Hal Phillips to pick up the pieces. Tom strays, as he often does, into some Fulham FC talk at the close of our discuss. This serves aptly as preview for Part II of this UASP, wherein we talk to Spencer Robinson and Stephen Myers re. matters Euro. But for now, enjoy Part I…
Rory McIlroy’s recent triumph in the U.S. Open at Congressional spurred the reopening of topic I’ve tackled in print called The Cinderella Complex, the curious predilection we golf fans and media have for rooting against Underdogs. It’s a bit twisted but eternally relevant, and we discuss it this week with John Strawn on The Curmudgeon, the golf podcast here at halphillips.net. John is a fellow A Positioner, CEO of Hills & Forrest International Golf Course Architects, the author of Driving the Green… Apologies for the sound quality on this pod. Rest assured that the crickets and sound engineer responsible have been sacked.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, you know that Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals was, shall we say, Eventful, with a capital “E”. The Bruins’ Nathan Horton knocked cold by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome, who was sent off and subsequently suspended by the NHL for 4 games, effectively ending his season. The Bruins went on to smoke Vancouver 8-1, effectively erasing the psychic trauma of two heart-rending losses, in Games 1 and 2. I didn’t think it would be possible for The B’s to put behind them the surrendering of a game-winner with 18 seconds left, in Game 1, and a game-winner just 11 seconds into Overtime, in Game 2. But Game 3, for all its queasy, uncomfortable overtones, was just such a series-changer. We talk about the hit, the suspension and the ramifications in store for tonight’s Game 4 with resident hockey expert David Desmith.
As I hope y’all know, the Boston Bruins open their Stanley Cup Finals series tonight, June 1, in Vancouver against the Canucks. To mark the occasion I tracked down perhaps the most hockey-crazed, hockey-savvy, hockey-literate U.S. citizen I know, David Desmith… The Bruins have not won the Cup since 1972. When I moved to the Boston area, in 1973, they “owned the town” — in such a way as to have inspired the commemorative plate pictured here. In my youth, many a night was spent watching Ch. 38’s local broadcasts of Bruins game. Indeed, I learned the game as much at the knee of WSBK announcers Fred Cusick and Johnny Peirson, as I did on the ponds of Wellesley, Mass. … The Bruins have since been to the Finals 5 times, losing the last four times to Canadian teams: Montreal twice in the late 1970s, and twice more to Edmonton. The last time they appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals, 1990, and I was there, three days after the Broons’ epic triple-overtime loss to the Oilers in Game 1; I covered Game 2 at the old Boston Garden for those oracles of sports journalism, the Marlboro Enterprise and Hudson Daily Sun. The Bruins had the misfortune, in all four of these “international” Cup Finals, to encounter the finest teams of their eras, among the best of all time. Are they running into a similar buzz saw tonight? Not likely, but just how good are these Bruins? David and I talk about how the team has grown through the playoffs, and we preview the finals in Part I of this special “Dallas Smith Edition” of the podcast. Watch for Part II later this week.
No one would have lapped up another Celtics-Lakers series more ardently than Fullcourt Pod host Hal Phillips and senior analyst Jammin’. But rather than discuss whose pipe dream proved more fanciful (the Green one, or the Purple & Gold one), we concentrate on the matter at hand, which doubles as the cold, hard reality: this most intriguing Finals match-up that starts Tuesday night in Miami. Dirk and the Mavs weren’t chosen to get out of the First Round, but now all of America (outside South Florida) is pulling for them to win it all. Such is the low esteem in which we hold Lebron, D-Wade & Co. How did we get here? And where will it all go…
It’s NBA Playoff time, about midway through Round I, and so we take stock of key developments courtesy of Fullcourt Pod’s resident near-savants, Hal Phillips and Jammin’ James W. Jackson Jr. This week’s fixation and jumping-off point is Laker Coach Phil Jackson‘s indifference toward defending Chris Paul — or should we say inability?
Join Hal Phillips and a cast of characters/correspondents spanning the Globe to discuss the burning, hot, molten issues of the footballing day. This week we talk with Tom Wadlington about the two international friendlies the U.S. played last week, vs. Argentina and Paraguay. Hal and Tom also touch on the fate of Jozy Altidore, the Champions League quarters that begin Tuesday, and the new statue of Michael Jackson that was unveiled this weekend outside Craven Cottage, home to Fulham FC. If you’re wondering what the connection is between Fulham and the King of Pop, you’re not alone.