One man’s sports question-and-answer session

With the close of the 2019 winter high school season on Saturday (BTW, I like Salem in a Division I boys hoop upset over top-seeded, undefeated Exeter!), there is time to ponder some all-too-comical questions in sports. Well, sort of sports.

It is a down time, leaving minds to wander. So without further ado, I provide the questions – and the answers – to get you through this lazy Friday.

Can somebody please wake up Nick Caserio?

No, seriously. The New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel is missing one heck of a free-agency period.

How dumb do the Boston Celtics really think we are?

So let me get this straight. Jayson Tatum turns 21 on the road one day in Los Angeles and just by pure chance misses the next game with the team trying to tell the world he has a, ahem, “shoulder injury.”

Hmm. The next thing that Danny Ainge is going to try and sell us on is that the king of all backboard denters, Marcus Smart, is worth $13 million a year and is a viable component to a championship team.

Oh, wait, he already did that, and you folks bought it hook, line and sinker. Never mind.

How pumped are you for the upcoming NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament, you know March Madness?

Admit it, you’re not. And, in fact, if it wasn’t for illegal gambling, aka your handful of brackets and pools, it would matter to you about as much as the upcoming NCAA Frozen Four. Less, in fact.

Don’t believe it? Tell me who won the national Division 1 title in either mens hoop or ice hockey last year. You can’t. Neither can I.

A quick digression here on NCAA hoops. There simply is no face to the game. And that’s why it remains nothing but a giant three-week sports lottery in March-April.

And just to note. I recently caught a rerun of the “30 for 30” on Duke legend Christian Laettner. Talk about a spectacular


Look, nobody hates Duke basketball more than this guy. But Laettner was such an amazing presence, the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper of NCAA hoops.

He and teammate Bobby Hurley, now the head coach at Arizona State by the way, are absolutely two starters on my all-time NCAA favorites team.

Can you name the Boston Red Sox Opening Day lineup when the club heads to Seattle on, gulp, March 28?

Nobody can for certain, you know with all these analytics determining matchups. But I’d go: Vasquez behind the dish, Moreland at first, Holt at second, Bogaerts at short, Devers at third, Benintendi, Bradley and Betts in the outfield with Martinez DH’ing.

Two quick thoughts on that:

1. I don’t believe in Dustin Pedroia making it all the way back at second.

2. When is the last time the lineup was so clear-cut, 1978?

As for the pitching staff? Now your talking myriad questions, especially in the bullpen, but that’s a quandary for another day.

Who is professional boxing’s heavyweight champion of the world?

Englishman Anthony Joshua owns three of the top four belts, while American Deontay Wilder holds the other.

Both are unbeaten, and a showdown of colossal proportions is so overdue.

What the heck are Massachusetts and New Hampshire colleges doing playing home baseball and softball games in March?

At some point, some adult somewhere has to step in and just say no. My new sports hero? Boston College freshman Joe Mancini, who got the win, throwing 55 pitches in an 11-4 Eagles victory on Tuesday at Holy Cross. Never met the kid. Never seen him throw a pitch. But with temps in Brighton hovering in the 30s, the kid gets my vote for athlete of the month for that mound effort.

Meanwhile, the athletic brass at both schools should be ashamed of themselves. Hey, Eagles’ fans, Ex-Silver Knight Cody Morissette and the boys will be hosting Clemson for three huge ACC tilts on March 22-24. Good seats are still available. But the guess here is that the Tigers call in sick and stay home in South Carolina for the weekend.

Why are the once infallible Boston Bruins suddenly a mess?

Because half of the Providence Bruins are currently skating at TD Garden. Injuries have shredded this roster, and nobody wants to bring it up.

Lee Stepniak? Come on, man.

And finally, just wondering about your opinion on this. Who wins a classic 1980s seven-game sports/music series between The Bangles and The Go-Gos?

I take The Go-Gos in seven, simply because I secretly melt at the thought of a young Belinda Carlisle.

Hector Longo is available at 594-1253 or by email at