Architects Forgot About Character

Boston Globe hockey columnist Kevin Paul Dupont found the FleetCenter, new home of the Bruins and Celtics, too bland for his liking when the Bruins made their debut there last week.

"The new cement bowl on Causeway Street is nothing short of sensational when it comes to all modern-day creature features," he wrote.

"It is comfortable. It is clean. It is what the world has come to expect in the make-believe world of sports entertainment. To complain about anything but the high price of it all [try this: an all-beef frank and a small Coke, $6], would be nothing but senseless braying."

However, he added, the arena is "a different place, one that relies on the players to give the building its character rather than standing as a character itself. With the Fleet, our routine has been broken, our way of living hockey on Causeway Street forever changed."


Trivia time: Who is the only player in NHL history to score more than 30 goals a season for 15 consecutive seasons?


Hoops only: Michael Jordan, in Bob Greene's book, "Rebound: The Odyssey of Michael Jordan," tells why he left baseball to return to the NBA last season:

"All I've ever wanted to do was to love every minute of my life, playing games that I love. I don't think I had ever sat down and thought about it before, because things were going so fast. But I finally realized it: All I am is a basketball player."


Good for 15 yards: In West Virginia, Duval High School football Coach Blaine Wilkerson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in his team's loss to Tolsia. The violation: Smoking on the sideline.

"I wish I didn't smoke, but I do," Wilkerson said.

"That's the silliest rule I ever heard of. I wasn't bothering anybody."


Mama knows best: The NBA marketing office is in a tizzy over reports that Shaquille O'Neal may give up his No. 32 to newcomer Jon Koncak. Millions of Orlando Magic jerseys are on sale bearing Shaq's number, and their value would plummet if it became Koncak's number.

O'Neal said he needed to talk with at least one person before taking a different number--and it's not anybody at the league office.

"I need to call my mother," Shaq said, "and ask her if I can change."


Surprise: Since 1984, six quarterbacks have been Heisman Trophy winners, but only Vinny Testaverde has become a starter in the NFL.

The five who didn't make it: Doug Flutie, 1984; Andre Ware, 1989; Ty Detmer, 1990; Gino Torretta, 1992; and Charlie Ward, 1993.


Looking back: On this day in 1986, the Angels were one pitch away from their first American League pennant when Dave Henderson hit the home run that let the Boston Red Sox back into the game in an 11-inning, 7-6 victory in Game 5.


A rough sport: Before the Grambling-Hampton football game at Giants Stadium earlier this season, 25 people were injured when they fell on top of one another on an escalator--reportedly blocked by members of the Hampton band just before the kickoff.


Trivia answer: Mike Gartner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Quotebook: Chicago Bull Coach Phil Jackson, after seeing Dennis Rodman's newest coiffure creation--red hair, except for a black bull at the crown: "I had a relative who said, 'Why run off to join the circus? It's come to join us.' "

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