Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Musings: November 26

It's been a while since I did a substantive post so I thought this morning might be a good time to recap what's going on in Boston sports (with my own little twist thrown in of course.)

First, I want to wish my boy Joey M. a happy 40th today. Joey M. is one of my best and longest standing friends. I've known him since third grade and he and I have done lots of cool stuff together over the years. Here's wishing him another 40 x 2 years of equal fun.

For starters, what a win by the Pats last night! I know everyone in New England is moping around thinking, "holy crap, we almost lost to the 5-5, McNabb-less Eagles last night. How is this possible when the spread was 24?!?" Well, these things happen. Take a look at the history books and you'll see a long string of unexpected "David vs. Goliath" upsets starting with the 1968 Bills (0-11) defeating the eventual Super Bowl champs, the NY Jets (who ultimately went 13-3.) There were also the 1985 Dolphins who prevented the Bears from besting their 17-0 record, beating the Bears on the national stage by a score of 38-24. That proved to be the Bears only loss that season on a way to a dominating Superbowl win over our beloved Pats.

You have to give Andy Reid, Jimmy Johnson, AJ Feeley and the no-name Eagles receiving corp. a ton of credit for a killer game night. First of all, Reid and Johnson schemed/coached the game like they were betting with house money. Onsides kicks in the first quarter? Trick plays? Bombs? All out blitzes? They threw the kitchen sink at the Pats and it almost worked. Then there was Feeley who was downright Brady-esque. He threw no fewer than 10 passes that were on a wire. And then their were the receivers who made unbelievable catch after unbelievable catch. I don't say this often but I take my hat off to those guys.

My second thought is, am I the only person in New England that is a little disappointed that our "hot stove" season for the Sox is already over? There will be no angst this off season over which pitcher we're going to post for. No upset stomachs over who will replace Damon in center field. No questions about who will close for the Sox or who will fill the fifth slot in the rotation. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. Now that Lowell and Schilling are wrapped up, we're essentially guaranteed that the same team that took the field in the 2007 World Series will be on the field on opening day in 2008. Just missing the drama a little I guess...

To that end, what are your thoughts on Boston going after Santana? Is it worth emptying the bank i.e. trading Ellsbury, Lester and Bucholtz to get THE most dominant left-hander in the game? This is a classic "bird in the hand" question but I have to say, after seeing what Ellsbury did in October and the sniff of what Bucholtz might bring, I say no. It pains me to think that way but this move has "Yankees" written all over it. As the Bronx Bombers have proven over the last several years, having too many veterans and not enough rookies/youth on a team can be deadly. Let's not monkey with success!

Last up, the Celtics. WOW! Are these guys good or what? This isn't anything that the press hasn't already told you but 11-1? When Ainge went out and acquired mssrs. Allen and Garnett, we all knew that we at least had a shot at the Eastern title. Now, it's not beyond the realm of belief to think that we could win it all provided we can stay healthy - and that's a BIG but. One thing that can't be underestimated is the play of Rondo and Perk along with the additions of House and Posey to the roster. Gotta give Danny an A+ for putting this team together (at least for now.)

One parting thought. After seeing the Eagles almost beat the Pats last night made me realize that we are probably not going to go undefeated this season. It's one thing when you are blowing teams out by 30-40 points and not really putting your players in jeopardy but last night was an all out war. If Belichick and the boys clinch home field throughout in two weeks by virtue of having a three game lead over the Colts and Steelers, I think you have to consider lightly resting some of your veterans. I know, call me crazy...

Sorry, I know the Bruins aren't that bad but I can't muster the energy to bring them up in this conversation. Oh yeah, I owe the Revs a belated pat on the back too. I know they are now officially the Bills of MLS but at least they make it to the big game every year!

p.s. Do you think the Dolphins are looking at Welker and saying, "why can't we get guys like that?"


Adam Cohen said...

This is going to sounds strange, so bear with me. One of the things that had worried me about this season with the Pats (and same with the Celtics, for that matter) was that this particular team had not faced tough situations and a lot of effective adversity. When you romp for touchdown after touchdown, do you really need to prove you can win it win everything is on the line in the 4th quarter? In my book, yes, and last night the Pats did just that. In the post game press conf, Belichick said something to the effect of (forgive my lack of direct quote) "This is how we expected it to go, and thankfully we pulled off the key plays that made the difference." Needing those key plays to make the difference is how the Pats of the last 6 years have won games - and championships.

Now we have plenty of fodder for pundits to debate best team ever or not. As I have thought from the beginning, let a 4th championship in 7 years decide that - and now we have a team more battle ready for the playoffs.

I think the only hesitation I have about Santana is keeping him from the Yankees. Otherwise I think the approach of bringing up talent is a better one than hiring mercenaries. Ellsbury could be Rookie of the Year next year.

I think the only team you left off your post is BC - they deserve a good mention for getting to the ACC championship game.

Overall I just hope all New England sports fans are enjoying the moment - it's really a Perfect Storm

Adawg said...

Adam - great additions to the post. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I actually agree with your first point (as does Peter King in today's MMQB). I also agree with your second and third points. Particularly with blocking Santana from going to the Yanks - that would hurt. A LOT. No disrespect to BC intended - however, it's tough as a UMass Amherst/Georgetown alum to give them too much credit. ;)

RedFish said...

While it was not the smartest thing to trade Welker to a division rival, our return pick in the 2nd round is way more valueable to the Fins in the long run- a stud center named Samson Satele who will anchor the O-line for years to come. Its much easier to find a speedy slot reciever than a long-term center, and the Dolphins O-line has been one of only a few bright spots this season. The other bright spot is Ted Ginn Jr., who will eventually replace Welker in the slot once we get a #1 reciever to replace Chris Chambers, who wallowed in mediocrity with the Fins. The Fins future looks pretty good, actually.

And its too bad that no one up in the 617 is into the NBA anymore, because ya'll are missing some good hoops!

And RE: Adam Cohens reply: Dont forget the key plays AND THE VIDEOTAPES that the NFL destroyed as the difference of the last 6 years in winning games and championships.

RedFish said...

And yes; props to BC, even though FSU back-slapped them this year at Chestnut Hill.