Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Green" House Effect

As the (financial) world continues to burn, it's always nice to come back to the world of sports, aka the toy department of life. And as usual, there are no shortage of subjects to cover.

I'll start with a rite of passage for sporting champs, which is the yearly visit to the White House. The Celtics got to head to Washington yesterday for the first time since 1986, as the team met President Bush, and presented him with a team jersey (#43, of course), an autographed basketball, and, in a classy move, a $100,000 donation to Hurrican Ike victims. You could tell the team enjoyed it, and you have to think Bush enjoys this stuff as well, especially after yet another tough, tough week in his presidency. Watching some of the coverage on the local news, it was hard not to think of Red Auerbach. The team's visit also prompted this cool story from the Herald's Mark Murphy, who recounts the 1963 team's visit to the Oval Office to meet with JFK.

There's a lot going on this weekend. College and pro pigskin, pennant races all around, and the Ryder Cup - golf's biennial Super Bowl between American and European golfers. I was lucky enough to attend the 1995 matches at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York, and was literally standing 10 feet from Corey Pavin when he made one of hthe most thrilling chip shots in golf history. I still have not heard a crowd roar quite like that one that day. For those of you who may scoff at this event, if you've been to one, you understand the passion that flows on both sides.

Okay, enough golf talk. The Sox won a big game in Toronto last night, with Sean Casey providing the clutch hit late. This one had you a bit worried. The Sox came in after another tough series with the Rays, and while the Jays had fireballer A.J. Burnett going, we had Paul Byrd, who I think has faced the Jays in 5 of his 7 Sox starts. Never a good thing. The Sox ended up winning 4-3, and one of the interesting nuggets in today's Globe - Byrd is always a great quote - was that on Thursday, an off-day spent in Toronto, Jason Varitek put on some gear, got Byrd from his hotel room, and walked through the main lobby to a nearby park to throw the ball around. How cool is that? Look for Dan Shaughnessy to comment soon, saying 'can you imagine this happening on Boston Common.' Yeah, you could say Dan's pretty predictable. Anyway, a very nice one-run win on the road.

Entering today's games, here's the situation: the Sox' magic number is 2, and they can clinch a playoff spot as soon as tonight with a win, a Yanks' loss and either a White Sox or Twins loss. They're currently 1.5 games behind the Rays, who continue to amaze, but I still think the division is doable and I would think that's what everyone wants. Let's get home-field advantage. Tonight's matchup is a good one, with Roy Halladay going against Jon Lester.

As for the local football team, they're going up against the inept Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Foxborough and most everyone - except Dolphins LB Joey Porter - is predicting a rather large win. Porter, God love him, opened his yap once again this week, demeaning Matt Cassel and saying 'it shouldn't be too difficult for us' without Tom Brady. You can bet everyone on the Pats' roster is aware of those comments. The big weak spot on this Miami team looks to be its secondary, which was absolutely torched last week by Kurt Warner and his Arizona Cardinals' receivers. That being said, it will be interesting to see if Josh McDaniels lets Cassel throw a little deeper, and maybe Randy Moss gets a little more involved. Final score? I'm thinking something like 27-10 or in that area. Lots of folks are saying the Pats will put up 30+, and they very well may, but the Dolphins do still have two good RB's in Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, and ours - specifically LaMont Jordan and Laurence Maroney - are hurting a little bit. And Cassel is still learning. Next week's a bye week for the Pats so it would be awfully damn gratifying to go into it at 3-0. This would also be the 22nd straight regular-season victory for New England.

One last night going back to baseball. Yes, I hate them. I hate really everything about them. But you have to respect the Yankees and what they've done through the years, and as they get ready to close down Yankee Stadium, you owe it to yourself as a sports fan to read this week's Sports Illustrated cover story on the old ballpark, written masterfully by Tom Verducci. The passage about President Bush throwing the first pitch not long after the September 2001 terrorist attacks - one of my all-time goosebump memories - will get you emotional all over again. Just read it.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?