Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello Again, Hello...

22 days, now that's a hiatus. Not much has happened since we last spoke. The Philadelphia Phillies won a World Series that will always be remembered for a suspended game - a clincher, no less - that took several days to complete. The World Champion Boston Celtics (f-you Gregg Pop-a-zit)opened up their quest for back-to-back banners. The Bruins - Boston, not UCLA - are off to a great start. And the NFL season is entering week 10, and would you believe that the Tom Brady-less Patriots are tied for first entering tomorrow night's big tilt against the hated Jets in Foxborough. Oh yeah, we Americans also got together last Tuesday to say in unision: "Hey, George, you're fired!!" Barack Obama will be the 44th president of these United States, and let's hope they're a little more united when he's through.

But enough about politics - what do you want to talk about? How about the amazing fact that I'm eager to watch both the Celtics (vs. the Hawks) and the Bruins (against Chicago) tonight? I honestly can't remember the last time I looked forward to watching both of our winter sports teams play. They're both off to good starts, and it will be intriguing to watch them the rest of the year. But we're in the midst of Patriots season, so let's dissect and analyze what the Pats have been able to do through nine games.

We know the franchise QB went down in the first week, but what we didn't know was that this team would rise to the occasion, and bond together to show the world that they're about much more than one superstar. If I added this in for good measure - that the Pats along the way would also lose their top three running backs, their veteran safety, a couple of offensive linemen, and one of their best linebackers - you'd surely have written off 2008 and started looking ahead to 2009.

But a funny thing has happened. All those media wiseguys who were wondering if Bill Belichick would be exposed without his binky at QB have been awfully quiet the last few weeks as the Pats have simply changed their formula for winning. Kind of like a golfer who can win with a 350-yard drive or an accurate short game, the Pats have found a way to get it done differently than last year. They're not demolishing teams by halftime. Instead, they're winning close games on the D-line, on the O-line, with good special teams, with everyone seemingly making a key contribution here or there. Backup QB Matt Cassel, all but left for dead after the pre-season, has grown steadily each week and has won some fans. And you know what? After getting past our morbid depression about Tom Brady, all of this has been pretty damn entertaining.

And now we have another chapter in the blood rivalry between the Pats and the Jets, as the two teams get ready to face each other tomorrow night in Foxborough. They're both 6-3 and in first place in the AFC East, and they're both playing good football right now. It should be a hell of a game - on a Thursday night no less - but I'll take Bill over Brett and Napoleon Mangini anytime.

hot stove hot stove hot stove hot stove
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