December 18, 2021

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 10 comments

When in Boston, do as the Romneys do.

posted by beaverboard at 02:12 PM on December 18, 2021

Heading in the opposite direction, former USF head coach and program founder Jim Leavitt has another HC gig at long last, if only for one game. He'll be coaching SMU as the interim in their upcoming bowl game in Boston.

The inaugural Wasabi Fenway Bowl.

I didn't know there was enough space for a full length football field at Fenway Park. That's going to be a tight fit. Someone's going to go through the back of the end zone and right into the centerfield wall.

posted by beaverboard at 02:31 PM on December 18, 2021

Fenway Park has often been used for football. The field is laid out from the right center field bullpen toward the 3rd base line, roughly paralleling the grandstand seats along the 1st base line. It is 380 feet from home plate to the low wall in right, so adding the few feet of foul territory provides enough room for the field and the end zones. No less than 5 professional football teams have played at Fenway as their home field. The Boston Bulldogs in the 1920s American Football League, the Boston Shamrocks in another iteration of the AFL in the 1930s, and the Boston Redskins of the NFL during the 1930s played home games at Fenway and at Braves Field. Playing in 2 parks is part of the reason for the name 'Redskins'. Originally the Braves when they played in Braves Field, the name was changed upon the move to Fenway Park. George Marshall wanted to retain the Native American symbols used by the team, but he also wanted a tie in with the baseball team whose stadium he used. Thus the name 'Redskins' that kept the Native American image and combined it with the Red Sox name.

Two other professional teams used Fenway. In the 1940s, the Boston Yanks played there.The team was not successful, merged with a team from Brooklyn, and became the New York Yankees Football Team. Ultimately they became the Baltimore Colts and now the Indianapolis Colts. The last professional team to use Fenway is the Patriots. Bench space was an issue for them, so the benches were side by side in front of the left field wall.

posted by Howard_T at 04:31 PM on December 18, 2021

Awesome tome, Howard. Chock full of juicy historical nuggets.

posted by beaverboard at 08:34 PM on December 18, 2021

The Cubs' Wrigley Field was home to the Chicago Bears for 50 seasons, 1921 to 1970, with the team finally moving to brand new Soldier field for the 1971 season. I believe that it was also the home field for the present day Arizona Cardinals when they began their life in Chicago. EDIT: this is not quite accurate. The Cardinals started life on the South Side, near the University of Chicago as the Racine Cardinals.

When the Bears first moved to Chicago from Decatur, they were still named the Staleys and after the team's first year in Wrigley, Halas renamed them to the Bears in a nod to the baseball Cubs. Seems that was the fashion of the time, wear an onion and your belt and name your local NFL team that relates to the local MLB team.

To call Wrigley unfit for football is quite the understatement. A visiting baseball team's dugout was part of one of the end zones. They would fill the dugout full of padding in an effort to avoid injuries if a play hit that part of the end zone. The other end zone ended at the left field wall. They didn't even think to add padding to that part of the wall until Bronko Nagurski ran into it, headlong, on a run into the end zone.

posted by NoMich at 09:59 AM on December 19, 2021

Meanwhile, I'm going to have to find a way to tell old time New Englanders that Boston's cultural associations have somehow gone from beans and scrod to Wasabi.

When we were young Catholic schoolkids not eating meat on Friday, we burst into laughter when we first heard of scrod. Somehow it didn't sound culinary to us. We discreetly referred to it as the past tense of fish.

posted by beaverboard at 10:29 AM on December 19, 2021

Someday, beaverboard, you and I will have to sit down somewhere with a copious supply of malt beverage and spend several hours discussing sports, Boston history and traditions, and whatever else the alcohol leads us to consider. No politics please, I fear that divisions would arise, but we still should do this. Perhaps with a recording machine running so the result could be posted on SpoFi. If you could make it into Boston for a Celtics game, I would like to have you occupy either seat 9 or 10 in row 5 of section 316. By the way, this invitation to a discussion or a game applies to all SpoFites who are in Boston during the basketball season or for that matter anytime.

posted by Howard_T at 01:20 PM on December 20, 2021

I saw Liverpool play Roma at Fenway in July 2012. As this was during the baseball season there was no chance of fixing the field to be suitable for soccer though it was still a cool outing.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:06 PM on December 20, 2021

That is a wonderful invitation Howard, thank you.

I've never been in the new building. And as far as I know, the circus no longer comes to town. So it should be invigorating.

posted by beaverboard at 11:57 PM on December 20, 2021

Any of you come to Kona, I will treat you to beers at Ola Brewing Co :)

posted by billsaysthis at 01:32 PM on December 21, 2021

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