Time Out for Sports Talk: Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages…
Todd Bloniarz: Welcome to the 100th installment of the TOST blog/column! Mike and I have been going at this for roughly two and a half years, so I thought it might be a good time to reintroduce myself by stating my full name and then deleting more folders from my hard drive. Of course, you might know me from the televised version of this blog (see links at the bottom).
So now that the Chicago Cubs aren’t going to win the 2015 World Series, has the fabric of the space-time continuum unraveled us into an alternate timeline where BTTF II’s Biff Tannen eerily resembles one of our current presidential candidates? One of the movie’s screenwriters reportedly stated this as fact. While I’m thinking such thoughts, how about a reminder that there are only a few days left to visit the Town of Terror!
Not only was this past Wednesday ‘Back to the Future Day’, but it was also an important sports anniversary with a significant Boston connection. If you’re any kind of Red Sox fan or have seen the movie Good Will Hunting, you know that on the night of October 21, 1975 the Sox defeated the Cincinnati Reds in Game 6 of the World Series.
It was not only one of the most memorable postseason games ever played, but Game 6 also played an important role in reviving Major League Baseball during the 70’s. Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter Peter Gammons covered the game for the Boston Globe, and began his game story with this beautifully poetic take on Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run: “And all of a sudden the ball was there, like the Mystic River Bridge, suspended out in the black of the morning.”
A wonderful piece of sports journalism, which you owe to yourself to read if you’ve never done so. Check it out here.
Over the years, hearing the words ‘Game 6’ unfortunately has a second memory for us Red Sox fans, which we’ll likely be reminded of in the coming days as the New York Mets attempt to win their first Fall Classic since the image of ground balls going through legs was burned into our memory. The only part of watching the Mets that I look forward to is figuring out which of their starting pitchers I’d like to see Dave Dombrowski trade for this offseason.
Now on to the Patriots, who continue to rack up wins while driving opposing coaches insane. Last week, it was Chuck Pagano who wasn’t satisfied with how close his Colts were on the scoreboard, so he called on the immortal Griff Whalen (who I swear was in one of the BTTF movies) to run a trick play that he actually never practiced. As a result, Griff winds up feeling like he drove his car into a pile of manure, which I’m sure he didn’t like.
First off, no way that play bombs so horrifically if Belichick is the coach because of the whole ‘do your job’ mantra he emphasizes to every player on the field. Second, the only reason Pagano would even attempt to utilize that level of trickeration was because he assumed it was the only way he could beat a Belichick-coached Pats team.
Simply put, the Patriots appear to be in their opponents’ heads, to the point where it’s only a matter of time before said opponent begins tinkling down their leg.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one other highlight from last Sunday night, the Jamie Collins leap and block of Adam Vinatieri’s extra point. To steal a call from a former Boston College basketball play-by-play man, WOW!!! Right after that play, I realized that perhaps the annual NFL combine has some relevance. Then I also realized Collins is one pretty good athlete who hopefully is on his way to a long and stellar career as part of the Pats’ linebacker corps.
Now for a two-fer Pats preview, since they’re playing twice in five days next week. The first game on Sunday against the Jets will be the real test, as Todd Bowles has the defense playing well and the offense playing mistake-free. If Darrell Revis manages to get some revenge on his former teammates, maybe Brady and the offense are limited. But I still think New England wins because I believe they’ll get four touchdowns and the Jets won’t: Patriots 28, Jets 20.
While the Dolphins look energized with their new metalhead coach Dan Campbell, the mess hasn’t been completely fixed in South Florida and the Pats should be able to take advantage, even on a short week: Patriots 34, Dolphins 17.
Week 7 Picks (2-1 last week, 12-6 season): Let’s go with Rams over Browns, Chargers over Raiders and the Panthers over Eagles.
Mike: Wow...100 columns? That's just amazing! Way to go us!
I can't believe that Fisk homer is 40 years ago. My earliest baseball memories are of that 1975 team, and I went to my first game ever that year. And that was cruel for a young Sox fan at that time, because I figured the Sox automatically played in the World Series every year, and I couldn't figure out why they weren't in it.
But that year did make me a life-long Sox fan, and I've been to at least one game every year since 1975, a 40-year streak that continued this year.
Anyway, I am still trying to figure out what the heck Chuck Pagano was thinking with that play. I need to go to the classic "Major League 2" to express my feelings..."obviously (Pagano's) thinking...I don't know what the hell he's thinking..."
Anyway, putting the dumbest play in NFL history aside, it was a good win for the Patriots. And I'm looking for them to keep on that roll against a Jets team that is stronger than I thought they'd be.
But even though they are stronger, I think Brady will stay off Revis Island, and the Pats will win 28-17.
Week 7 Picks (2-1 last week, 10-8 season): I'm creeping up on you Todd! Let's stay on a roll---I'll take Bills over Jaguars, Colts over Saints and Cardinals over Ravens.