Spitting Distance

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

I would like to personally thank the Red Sox for at least temporarily, lifting the spirits of a grieving region. Jason Bay would not want us to cry, people. Jason Bay would want us to be happy. And Jonathan Papelbon would probably make some obscene sock puppets to get us laughing again if he thought that’d work. But instead he just recorded the final four outs of the game and secured another game in the standings. Because he wants us to be happy, dammit. He doesn’t like seeing us sad. He wants us to smile. And so we shall as the Sox pull within .5 games in the division and face off against Tampa Bay again tonight.

Also? The Yankees got smacked around by the Angels and they are now in fourth place. Which, yes, it’s the Yankees, shit could always happen – but it’s amusing at the moment.

I was told yesterday that I should keep my eyes on the prize in re: the Red Sox and their possible division title. Meaning, I assume, “stop whining about Tom Brady, at least your baseball team is good,” which is really quite rich coming from someone whose quarterback is still in possession of both of his knees. And also baseball and football are not the same thing. But the fact remains, the Red Sox, at least at present, do not want us to mourn. So they win. So we are happy.

Doesn’t it sort of feel like some kind of cosmic shift has happened in New England, maybe in the last couple years or so? Like, after years and years of being Team B around these parts, the Patriots might’ve surpassed the Red Sox? Maybe it’s just me and maybe it’s impossible to compare because of the nature of the sports and any one person’s roll in the team game, but I don’t remember us going into a regionally-mandated mourning period when David Ortiz went on the DL. Of course, David Ortiz is not our quarterback and we’ve seen on multiple occasions how the Red Sox function without him. We have no idea how the Patriots function without Tom Brady. It is dark and uncharted territory we’re in here, kids and I’m a little scared.

But last night, while drinking (because that was obviously the only reasonable course of action), Amy and I decided something. We decided that tomorrow, during the Pats’ team meeting, Tedy Bruschi is going to get up and he’s going to declare this Matt Cassel’s football team. And he’s going to give an impassioned speech about how this team can be down, but it’s never out. He’s going to reference the Bledsoe to Brady switch back in ’01 and talk about how, lo, those many years ago, veterans on this team saw it handed over to an untested backup and all that’s happened from there is three Super Bowl rings and a perfect season. And he’s going to talk about trying times. And injuries and ailments and accusations and losses and trials and tribulations. And he’s going to talk about heart. And he’s going to declare that Matt Cassel has heart. And he’s going to talk about not going outside the organization to bring in a hired gunslinger but in keeping it in the family and closing ranks and winning with their own. And then Rodney Harrison will start chanting about getting no respect. And Tedy will place his hands on Matt Cassel’s shoulders and call the team to him and say, “How do we feel about winning football games with Matt Cassel as our quarterback?” And he will lead a rousing call and response and there won’t be a dry eye in the house. And then Tom Brady will emerge from the shadows, on crutches but otherwise dreamy-eyed and, you know, Brady-esque, and he will ceremoniously hand over his playbook to Cassel. And they will hug. And it will be beautiful.

And then Belichick will yell at them to stop crying like little girls and get to their reps.

What I’m saying is, I think we have to drive the Matt Cassel bus now. Even if we drive it into the ground. Tommy would want it that way.


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