Championship Sunday

(Super Sunday links are brought your way by guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. Reach him at [email protected]).

Rise and shine, New England. Time to get another Championship Day started, the third and final of a memorable 2007 as the Patriots look to follow the path of the Red Sox and avoid that of the Revolution. The winning path seems a bit more clearly delineated this morning after Senator Arlen Specter’s strangely-timed initiation of Spygate II days ago. The Giants will no doubt remember the fallout of Spygate I, when the Chargers became the first in a string of casualties that have led the Patriots to history’s door. Now, they have Specter pushing it open.

As with every Sunday morning, Scott Benson and the staff over at Patriots Daily bring you all the local Patriots coverage in Sunday’s Links. Grab your coffee and head over there; we’ll be here with some national coverage when you get back.

And what better place to start than in Arlen’s house. The Inquirer’s Bob Ford tries to convince himself and all of Philly that the 2007 Patriots don’t make honorable mention in his list of the greatest teams of all time. Ashley Fox thinks the Patriots themselves provide the best blueprint for an underdog to succeed in the Super Bowl. Bob Brookover finds one native that hasn’t been brainwashed into thinking the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXIX victory over the Eagles was fixed, that being South Philly native and Pats’ fullback Kyle Eckel. On the other side of Arlen’s district, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier examines the Belichick vs. Coughlin match-up.

In the Big Apple, the Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano says the Giants are ready for their shot at immortality, while Mike Lupica says tonight’s game is guaranteed to be unforgettable. At the Post, Paul Schwartz says the Jints cannot lose tonight, while Mike Vaccaro offers 42 reasons why they won’t. Steve Serby sees the Giants as some modern-day Persian emperor, bringing home the heads of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to parade them throught the streets. Are you ready for tonight yet? In Newark, the Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi has a placeholder ready for Big Blue in the list of the greatest upsets ever. Jerry Izenberg offers an entertaining and first-hand look at the commercialization of the Super Bowl over his 42 years of coverage. And straddling the Giants/Patriots border, the New Haven Register’s Joe Amarante finds the super glue that binds both sides.

Okay, back to reality. Here’s a shocker from Miami, as the Herald’s Dan Le Batard thinks that, win or no win today, the Patriots season is already more impressive than that of the 1972 Dolphins. Better stuff some spare tires in the trunk, Dan, because tormer Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson’s comments that a win puts Belichick’s season at the top in the annals of NFL coaching has him in a heap of trouble with those ’72 Dolphins. From Indianapolis, the Star’s Bob Kravitz cannot be more emphatic: forget about any upset today. Out west, the Union-Tribune’s Michael Stetz tells San Diego that tonight’s game should not compel them out of football hibernation, as the memories will be painful.

And since we’re looking to crown them as world champions, let’s see what a couple of international outlets are saying about our hometown team. The London Times has the Patriots as the most polarizing force in the States since the Civil War, but says they’ll be champs again sometime in the small hours of Monday morning. The Sydney Morning Herald gives ten reasons why the Super Bowl is can’t miss viewing, and the top three are because of your New England Patriots.

Bruins

The Bruins availed themselves of their last opportunity to fly under the radar of football-frenzied Hub fans, falling 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings at TD Banknorth Garden last night. Despite the loss, Stephen Harris says the B’s turned in an admirable effort against the NHL’s best. Fluto Shinzawa has the B’s playing a perfect first period, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Red Wings winning streak, now at seven. Barbara Matson says the Bruins may have missed their chance in the second period, which included a fruitless 5-on-3 power play.

Bud Barth says that, at 6-2-1 over their last nine games, the B’s are headed in the right direction. In Harris’ Bruins Notebook, goalie Tim Thomas recounts the three goals he surrendered as the Red Wings snapped his career-best five-game winning streak. Shinzawa’s Bruins Notebook has B’s forward Marco Sturm becoming the NHL’s iron man among German natives.

Red Sox / MLB

It may have been too late, but Art Davidson has former Haverhill High School slugger Carlos Pena’s remarkable turnaround anything but too little, as he posted some staggering numbers with the Tampa Bay – drop the Devil – Rays in 2007, after finishing out the previous season in Boston.

As all of Red Sox Nation breathes a sigh of relief, Nick Cafardo gives Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman credit for not pulling off a Johan Santana deal. Michael Silverman says it’s good to be young, philosophies shared by both the Red Sox and Yankees front offices.

Be sure to stay tuned to BSMW for all the accounts on tonight’s big game. In the meantime, may Boston champagne bottles overflow as those of New York – and Miami – remain corked.