Welcome to the Best Sports Town in America
Not that we’re biased or anything, but Hub residents woke up this morning to find their professional football team undefeated and victorious after hanging almost half a hundred on the Dallas Cowboys; their college football team ranked either second or third in the nation; and their baseball team readying for an epic Game 3 in the ALCS, tonight. The Celtics are interesting and the Bruins might not even stink. These are good times.
While the temptation is to wallow in the futility that is Eric Gagne’s flat fastball, or Dice-K’s fear of the strike zone, consider instead if Boston College is BCS-worthy.
OK, granted, the Red Sox are the pressing concern, but if Game 2 taught us anything, other than there is such a thing as too much baseball, it’s that the Red Sox Achilles’ heel has been found and it is their bearded bullpen blunder. At this point, Gagne’s complete lack of competence with the Sox is nothing short of bizarre, and probably not worth analyzing further, other than he should never be on the mound if the game hangs in the balance, barring extra innings or locust. (Note: You can blame Tito all you want for putting him in the game, but what else was he going to do? All he had remaining was a lefty specialist and, basically, a rookie with little history of pitching in relief.)
But, and here’s the big but, if the weakest member of your team is your fifth or sixth reliever, then you’re doing something right. Lost in the disastrous 11th inning is the fact that the Sox beat up the indomitable Fausto Carmona, and red-hot reliever Rafael Perez.
There’s a lot riding on Daisuke Matzusaka tonight, but it’s not as if Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook is a sure thing, either. Everyone assumed this series would go seven games, right? So please, knock off the panic routine, already. It’s a little pathetic.
Meanwhile, how ’bout those Pats? They not only sliced and diced them Cowboys, they also added a little F-You at the end when backup running back Kyle Eckel scored in the final minute. Wade Phillips wasn’t grinning like a jackass after that, was he? When are opposing teams going to learn? When you play the Patriots, don’t talk.
Not that the Cowboys learned from the beatdown. Here’s safety Roy Williams after the game, via our pal Matt Mosley’s Hashmarks blog on ESPN.
“Brady is a good quarterback, but don’t discredit us,” safety Roy Williams said. “Just because we didn’t stop them on third down doesn’t mean we’re not a good defense.”
OK. And just because Eric Gagne can’t get anyone out doesn’t mean he’s not a good pitcher.
Then there’s Boston College. The Eagles are ranked second in the Coaches Poll, third in the AP Poll, and third in the BCS Standings. Quarterback Matt Ryan has emerged as one of the handful of legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates, and he has similarly emerged as a first-round draft choice in waiting.
In any other city in America, with the exceptions of New York and Philadelphia, BC would be front-page news, above the fold every day. But the Eagles can’t catch a break. Their biggest game of the season is next Thursday on ESPN against Virginia Tech. Normally, that would be cause for the rest of the sporting press to take stock of the wonderful job Ryan and new coach Jeff Jagodzinski have done.
Unfortunately, for BC, Game 2 of the World Series is also scheduled for that night. Of course, if Eric Gagne has anything to say about it, the Eagles might have the spotlight all to themselves.
PHOTO FROM ATHLON SPORTS