College kids eat a lot of pizza. That’s the conventional wisdom, although I’m sure there’s some more scientific study out there (because what out there hasn’t had some sort of scientific study conducted on it?) with some numbers, some hard scientific facts to back up that assertion. The conventional wisdom, after all, is that they also drink a lot of beer, and I can’t imagine anyone would question that.

They go together, pizza and beer. Cheap, purposeful.

the menu at il mondo. click the picture for images.

With that in mind I took a little stroll to Il Mondo Pizzeria in Boston’s Mission Hill area. Partly because it’s got arguably some of the best slices in Boston, and also partly because it’s conveniently located down the street from a bar, the homely Squealing Pig.

Beer and pizza. Inseperable.

Anyway, Il Mondo is probably most notable for its wide selection of slices that are, for the most part, available all day. Among them? An awesome barbecue and buffalo chicken slice, a meat lovers slice that includes sausage/bacon/pepperoni, an exquisite Hawaain slice, and, really, just about any other prominent form of pizza your mind can cook up. The slices run $3.00 for the multi-topping varieties, a worthy price considering one slice on its own can just about kill off any hunger attacks.

“I think they’ve got the best buff chick slice in the city,” said Neil Labak, a 21-year old pharmacy major at Northeastern who was, as one would figure, eating a buffalo chicken slice. “They just put a ton of chicken on it. It’s awesome.”

The rest of the menu reads like any Italian eatery, with calzones, subs, salads, pastas, and various specials and deals. Still, it’s the slices that really stand out, which is, after all, really what the pizza-searching college types are after.

buffalo chicken pizza from il mondo

“They seem to put a lot of care in the slices. There’s a lot of ingredients, they don’t short you on anything,” said Labak.

So if you’re new to Northeastern, looking for pizza worthy of the name, and don’t mind a 15-20 minute walk from the center of the NU campus out toward the Brigham Circle area at the bottom of Mission Hill, Il Mondo’s a good place to try. And it doesn’t hurt that, if you’re of age, beer is literally right around the corner.

Il Mondo Pizzeria, located at 682 Huntington Ave., in the Brigham Circle area, is open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Call (617) 277-7161.

Final Project

March 24, 2010

For my final project I want to do a profile on Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston. Forsberg used to be a roving internet/blog/video type guy for, largely with their high school sports coverage, but some with the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics too.

Now he’s at ESPN Boston, where he’s covering mostly the Celtics. It gives him the opportunity to do lots of internet chats on, post videos and pictures to his active Twitter feed, as well as write and break news for the ESPN Boston website. I think he’s one of the leading new-media guys in and around Boston sports, so I think he’d make a good centerpiece along those lines.

In addition to Forsberg, I could talk to some of the other new-media types around the Boston sports scene, including his replacement at The Globe, Zuri Berry.

I think it’d give insight into being a sports journalist in this brave new media world, since these types are at the forefront of Boston and Boston is arguably the most competitive sports journalism market in the country, especially concerning new media, with and ESPN Boston going toe to toe with the many other online outlets, like individual blogs and sites like Barstool Sports.

Interestingly enough, though the Bay Area sports media is often considered much softer and less intense than that of the big Northeast markets (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc.) they’re probably as tuned in to the internet, and take as full advantage of social media, as any contingent in the country.

Which in general makes sense, given the Bay’s ongoing love-affair with technology. Some tweet often with informative little updates, like the San Francisco Chronicle A’s beat writer Susan Slusser. Others, like San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami, use it as an outlet to post short opinions or link to blog posts and columns. All in all, it’s a pretty diverse set.

In light of that, here are 10 of the best sports media personalities on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of to thing:

1)  Susan Slusser – Slusser is the Oakland Athletics beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. For my money she’s the best A’s beat writer in the Bay Area, partly because she’s so involved with the fan base. She addresses criticisms and concerns with her work from time to time both on Twitter and on the popular A’s fan blog, Athletics Nation, which I think both gives her greater credibility and endears her to readers. Above all, though, she’s great on Twitter for bits and pieces of useful information, like her latest tweet on starting pitcher Brett Anderson: “Anderson says via text that he gave two wound-be hits (no fielders behind him). His neck got better and better throughout.” Anderson threw a simulated game today that nobody was around for, and nobody else would have heard about. But it’s nice to know how it went, and Twitter’s kind of the perfect medium for relaying that little bit of info.

2) Tim Kawakami – Kawakami uses Twitter, like I said above, mostly for spouting off pithy thoughts and linking to his columns and blog posts. But he also interacts with readers a lot, providing many re-tweets and what have you. The Mercury News columnist is probably the most inflammatory voice in the Bay Area, our own little version of Dan Shaughnessy, in a way, and he gets a lot of reader feedback, both good and bad, through his blog that he updates pretty often and his Twitter that he’s very active on. He’s always got an opinion on Bay Area sporting developments, and, to his credit, he’s out there defending them through every medium possible.

3) Marcus Thompson – Thompson is the Bay Area News Group’s (Contra Costa Times, SJ Merc, Vallejo Times-Herald, Oakland Tribune, etc. etc.) roving Warriors writer. He’s one of the most active Bay Area sports figures on Twitter, providing both Warriors info, but also really utilizing Twitter to interact with other media personalities and readers. Most of his tweets are responses and retweets, and he also includes lots of personal information, like a recent picture of his daughter.

4)Mychael Urban – Urban’s another inflammatory, opinionated personality in the Bay Area scene. He was originally the team beat writer, and then ventured out into radio, with lots of guest spots on KNBR. Now he does work for the Comcast Sportsnet website, as well as making television and radio appearances. He, like Kawakami and Thompson, likes to use Twitter to send a lot of responses to fans and the like.

5)CSNAuthentic – CSNAuthentic is just the official twitter of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area. It’s useful to follow in that it will frequently link to the videos of highlights and news stories on their website. It’s also not bad for breaking news.

6)Geoff Lepper – Lepper is a Warriors writer for and used to be employed by the Bay Area News Group before they downsized a bit. He, like Thompson, provides nice Warriors tidbits on Twitter, but also has more to say on the NBA in general than the others at times, which I like.

7)ChronLive – ChronLiveCSN is the twitter for the Comcast Sportsnet show Chronicle Live, a Bay Area version of Globe 10.0, if you will. It often asks those following ChronLive to tweet their thoughts on Bay Area stories that they’ll be discussing later on the show that night, and use it as part of the show’s programming, which is a pretty cool, interactive feature I think. It’s also good for knowing what will be on the show and whatnot.

8)Melissa Lockard – Lockard runs the A’s website for the network. She’s one of the best A’s voices out there, especially with prospects and minor league information. Her twitter has been good for following spring training developments, though she mostly uses it to link to columns and such.

9)Damon Bruce – Bruce is a radio personality for KNBR. He’s kind of a shock-jocky guy for the sports types in the Bay Area, and loves to be real critical of the teams. On Twitter he interacts pretty well with his audience.

10)Ann Killion – Killion uses Twitter mostly just to post her columns, but the former SJ Merc columnist is a good read so I like following her to make sure I keep up with her thoughts.

Took a trip to Boston College’s Conte Forum to get insight into how the Northeastern fan group, the DogHouse, operates when it ventures away from the friendly confines of Matthews Arena.

David Carr? Yeah?

March 9, 2010

So the 49ers decided to get involved in the free-agency-without-a-cap-year-hoopla and signed……David Carr. The San Francisco 49ers, everybody:

The 49ers will have a new backup quarterback in 2010 with David Carr agreeing to terms Sunday for what is believed to be a two-year deal, according to a source close to the Carr family.

Forget that the secondary sucks and your already putrid offensive line has managed to get worse with the departure of average-at-best Tony Pashos. Let’s focus our efforts on a backup quarterback with the same flaws as our starting quarterback.

It’s just a little bit bizarre. David Carr’s not terrible or anything. He’s just a lot like Alex Smith. Disappointing #1 pick engineered to manage a deep-ball game but without the arm and too many errant throws to actually make it work. Effective at times in a pinch but has never proven to be able to play consistently well.

He’s redundant. Shaun Hill at least offered a change of pace from Smith. Hill, limited as he is, executes a productive enough short-range game. He should be the kind of quarterback Mike Singletary embraces, a workman who hands the ball off and can manage an offense when asked.


So, yeah, he’s just of no particular use. It’s curious that the 49ers front office would even bother to look into David Carr, let alone actually go out and sign him. Just when you think they might start making some sense they throw a head-scratcher at you. Not a difference maker, not necessary, just kind of spinning your wheels.

The media guys agree with me too. Ray Ratto:

After a day of seemingly meaningless jousting, the 49ers and Carr agreed to a deal Sunday that dooms Shaun Hill but in no other way makes San Francisco materially better. Now that he’s signed, Carr becomes nothing more than the new Hill, only Alex Smith is an easier hurdle to clear than Eli Manning was for Carr last year.

I don’t really think fans should be mad over rising ticket prices like Ratto. I think the current regime has shown enough commitment to turning things around, and enough signs of hope now exist, that they can raise the prices some if they so choose. But I don’t understand such a move without merit.

And Tim Kawakami:

And now that they have come to terms on a two-year deal with Carr, the 2002 No. 1 overall pick instantly becomes the flash point to larger questions: What are the 49ers doing at quarterback, and what makes them think Carr is a partial solution?

They can’t duck it: The 49ers have opened themselves to the scrutiny.

They’re the ones who lauded Hill’s leadership and game-management skills seven months ago, then declared that Smith was a natural long-term starter.

So what do they do? Woo and land Carr, who has all the tools but, so far, none of the NFL success or true grit.

Nobody seems to understand it. It’s pretty perplexing.

Photo by flickr user FLC and republished here under a Creative Commons license.