This week is not the misery Michael Felger makes it out to be, but between bumper-to-bumper traffic, long lines at the register, and various ill-wills we hurl at each other in a Christmas panic exacerbated by last weekend’s snowout, one thing is alarming. Folks, when did Boston become a five-team sports town?
Parking lots with rear windows covered in ‘NY’ decals. Kids walking the mall with unbuttoned pinstriped jerseys hanging down below their too-low pantlines. Worst yet, my treasured sports retailers allowing Yankee merchandise to spill over from once-tolerable end caps to entire sections of store now. Yesterday, I looked on the wall of one prominent retailer to see five banners hanging – Pats, B’s, C’s, Sox, and – yes – Yankees.
Hopefully, a wave of partisan cleansing can wash over New England with the New Year and some new championship runs, but it’s not just the Sox. For starters, there are entirely too many Patriot haters in our midst, so let’s check in with their championship run first.
Okay, baby steps en route to the Super Bowl, but a win is a . . . Well, let’s just say Pats Chowder isn’t exactly worried about how Coach Belichick will spend the 32nd pick of this year’s draft yet. Sunday was triply great for Patriots Gab – a road win, the re-emergence of Randy Moss, and a D that befuddled the Bills. The Trenches says the Pats’ serious pass rush against Buffalo was as effective as anything they’ve done this season. But Felger (he gets another shot since he’s going on vacation next week) says the secondary was inconsistent and, BTW, where is the second half offense? Tom E. Curren says the offense’s inability to close out an opponent makes for a confounding and maddening subplot to 2009. PatsFans says it’s a miracle the Pats have beaten the Bills 13 straight times.
Pats Pulpit offers one picture and a thousand words of praise for Laurence Maroney’s turnaround. The Rap Sheet has OL Dan Connolly, whose contract was extended yesterday, coming a long way. It Is What It Is says Connolly has given the Pats a lot of good snaps this season.
First And Ten From Foxborough thinks it a tall order to ask Tom Brady to repeat his performance the last time the Pats played Jacksonville during the 2007 playoffs. Extra Points now has Fred Taylor trying to back his way off Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio’s bulletin board.
BC Interruption spends Five Good Minutes with a left coaster as they preview this Saturday’s Emerald Bowl matchup between the Eagles and USC Trojans. Soaring To Glory thinks USC’s talent surplus will carry it past a non-BCS bowl letdown and the Eagles, although they’ve been wrong before. Eagle Insider has USC coach Pete Carroll guaranteeing his Trojans will play like it’s the national championship game. NE Patriots Draft runs down the top NFL prospects playing in this year’s Emerald Bowl.
The UConn Huskies have a little more time before their next game as their PapaJohns.com Bowl date with South Carolina isn’t until the new year. Ramblings From The Runway has Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier impressed with the Huskies. JSilver’s UConn Blog has the Huskies winning the FWAA Courage Award for perseverance in the aftermath of Jasper Howard’s killing. And even though the 2009 season is more than a week away from concluding, UConn Football is looking ahead to 2010 and forecasting the biggest QB battle in school history.
Caveman Strong is see-sawing after a 1-1-1 road trip that leaves them realizing the B’s are not a Stanley Cup champion right now. The Black & Gold might be back on track after downing the Atlanta Thrashers last night at TD Garden for their second straight victory, but Joe Haggerty will tell you there were plenty of uncomfortable moments in this one. Bruins 2010 Draft Watch feels the yuletide spirit as the B’s gave their fans a Christmas win against the Thrashers while Phil Kessel gave Toronto fans bupkus.
Marc Savard’s first assist in nine games during the B’s win in Ottawa on Monday reminds I’m Just Sayin’ of the glory days of the Savard line that included Kessel. Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk would make Boston forget about Kessel, but James Murphy says it’s a little too early to put him in black and gold. Something’s Bruin asks Santa Chiarelli for a goal-scorer this Christmas. Naoko Funayama marvels at the clarity of Milan Lucic’s complexion this late into the hockey season.
After a bad loss to Philly on Friday the C’s got it back together on Tuesday night, downing the Pacers at TD Garden before heading out on a four-game road trip. Green Street says it was a half-hearted effort against Indiana and that won’t cut it in Orlando on Christmas Day. A. Sherrod Blakely says Tuesday’s win was the first in a line of games the C’s plan to play without KG, but Red’s Army is suspicious over Danny Ainge’s use of the word “structural” when referring to a bruise on KG’s thigh. In his new exclusive arrangement with Celtics Blog, Paul Pierce traces his roots with KG back to their AAU days.
We’re going to close with an abbreviated check on the Sox. Forget the Mike Lowell thumb injury says The Crowe’s Nest, who think Lowell is a better one-year fit at third than Adrian Beltre anyway. Utility Lou says that when it comes to Lowell, the damage has been done, but it’s not to his thumb.
And if Lowell can come boomeranging back to Boston, Surviving Grady wonders if Jason Bay is far behind. Extra Bases thinks that bringing back Bay can only be the precursor to another move. And Better Red Than Dead bemoans John Kruk offering John Henry a luxury tax-free bond in 2010.
That’s going to do it this Christmas Eve as a final shopping run awaits me. You can be sure there’ll be nothing with pinstripes under my tree tomorrow morning. From the gang here at BSMW, may your holidays be full regardless of whether or not your tree is, and we’ll see you back here one more time before the New Year. Follow me on Twitter for any last minute rescheduling.