A Tribute to Derek Jeter Was Boston’s Happiest Sports Moment in a Week

Who would have thought?

Tom Brady

Associated Press

Who would have thought that a tribute to Derek Jeter would be the high point in Boston sports for a week?

It’s true though. In basketball news, Rajon Rondo broke his hand. Apparently, he slipped in the shower. Now, doctors say he might be out for the first month of the season.

Then there was the Patriots 41-14 loss to the Chiefs Monday night. Backup Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo came in for Tom Brady in the fourth quarter and scored his first career touchdown. As Brady stewed on the sidelines, reporters began prophesying the end of (Brady’s) days. It got so depressing that Gronk couldn’t even bring himself to properly Gronk-spike the ball after dragging two defenders into the endzone with him.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox continued their depressing race from worst to first to worst again by finishing the season a full 25 games out of first place in the AL East. The only bright moment in an otherwise unexciting September was their tribute to Derek Jeter. The Yankees star might have thought he’d have the misfortune of playing his last game at Fenway Park. But the town that has sold “Jeter Sucks A-Rod” merchandise outside games for years somehow pulled it together.  Who doesn’t love to see longtime opponents united to recognize a talent? The ceremony was a lovely, cheesy reminder that it can be a pleasure to watch an upstanding man play great baseball, even if he’s playing for an Evil Empire. Plus it was an excuse to say the words “class act” 1700 times fast. When your team is 25 games back, you need any warm sports moment you can get.

Still. If you’d told us a year ago that Derek Jeter’s appearance at Fenway Park would be a moment of brightness in a dark tunnel of sports news, well, we’d have had some follow-up questions.