Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Red Sox let things slip a little - The Boston Globe...and other things

Okay - I'm a longtime member of the Nation, as I put it, one of The Afflicted. I watched the '75 series from my parents house in Sudbury, Ma, the '78 Bucky "F***ing" Dent Fiasco [Say it ain't so, Yaz, say it ain't so] from their new home in Armonk, NY - decidedly Yankee territory - The '86 series with my Met fan brother...there was, admittedly some tension around the house for some time after that, but that went away after the police stopped looking for the body. I lived in the shadow of Fenway during the lean years in the 1990's and did the proverbial dance on the Bambino's grave after the series last year.
This year - sure, I would feel better with more than two and a half games of cushion, but I'm not as doom and gloom as I have been in recent years. That and I look at a Yankees staff that is relying on guys with names like Chacon to get them into the post-season. Considering the state of the Sox staff, I'm not saying that it's impossible for the Bombers, but I have enough doubts about it happening, and have seen the Sox fend off enough challenges to their position atop the AL East, that I find myself lacking the pessimism of past seasons.

The Pats weren't perfect on Thursday, as a matter of fact, the game, from the Patriots side, at times had a definite preseason feel to it. The offensive line at times manhandled the Raiders' front four, and at other times looked like they were still trying to gel (see Dillon's first half running stats - as in not much room to). The defense is obviously still working out kinks - in spite of that, 2 sacks for 19 yards, 1 fumble recovery, and allowed the Raiders to convert on 30.8% of the time on third down.

Katrina, New Orleans and the Saints.
I'm going to continue to root for the Pats getting a third straight title, but if the Saints are right there at the end, I won't root against them.
I don't know where to begin. In 2001 I spent five days in New Orleans and have always wanted to go back. The people were friendly and the restaurants were amazing. There is no place in the United States quite like Bourbon Street and the French Quarter and I hope the powers that be are able to restore the city to, at the very least, what it once was. Maybe this time it can be done without the rampant unemployment that afflicted so many of the neighborhoods.
That being said, let me turn this back to what this blog focuses on - sports. It will be a difficult year for the Saints, but teams playing them should approach with the utmost caution, this is a very dangerous team. Haslet is not a bad coach, and the team has had talented individuals. Their problem was just that - they were individuals; Joe Horn was trying to become the next Terrell Owens. Separating oneself from the team in that manner can cause all kinds of problems internally for a game that really is played best on a team level.
Now the those individuals have reason to come together as a team, reason to put their own egos to the side. The devastation in their home city has put a lot into perspective for these athletes and they see winning, bringing three hours of joy to the displaced every Sunday, as one of the ways they can help alleviate the pain and the loss that the hurricane has caused. While I don't think it will happen, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see the Saints in this one to the bitter end - as far they're concerned, it's the least they can do.