By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
November 14, 2008

Colleagues take to Twitter to praise ‘perfect’ play-by-play man
Year after year, Gil Santos delivered
Bill Belichick pays tribute to Patriots Hall of Fame broadcaster Gil Santos
Bill Belichick pays tribute to the late Gil Santos
Tight end Troy Niklas’ “crazy” story makes him a Patriot and a father, too

Kevin's Note: You wouldn't believe how many times I am approached by my so-called friends copping an attitude like they could write this column better than I could. Fact is, they're probably right some of the time. So, I have decided to turn over the column every now and then to selected members of my inner circle of Patriots "friends."

The first, ahem, victim will be Stevie P. I have known Stevie since we worked together at the world famous Almacs Store #36 (Since closed. Now a Ocean State Job Lot if you still want to feel our presence) in Foxboro as teenagers and college students. In fact, if you see Stevie please remind him that he and Dave Shields (whereabouts unknown) still owe yours truly and his brother Bill at least 18 Papa Gino's pizzas from two-on-two basketball duals during the summer of 1992 in his driveway.

You may recall from last year's award-winning column "The Dallas Road Trip Diary" that many of us went down to visit Stevie and see the Patriots take on the Cowboys after he turned his back on living in New England. Despite his traitorous stance, he still is one of the good guys and he graced us with his presence this past week. And out of all the wingnuts I hang around with, he had the guts to say "Okay, I'll write your column this week." So let's see what he has to say….

This week's regularly scheduled column by Kevin is being interrupted by me, Steve Penta, former Foxboro resident and current resident of Trophy Club, TX (Yes, you read that right, for you golf enthusiasts out there, look it up). I moved to Texas with my job right before the start of the 2007 season. Since I have been there, I have seen another Red Sox World Series, the 18-1 Patriots season, a Celtics championship, and I think the Revolution even played in the finals last year. What I have also experienced is what it is like to be a Boston sports fan from a distance. No local sports radio, daily articles in the Globe, or the random conversations on the T from the thousands of armchair quarterbacks out there. Instead, I get to hear all about the Cowboys and their dysfunctional team.

Let's talk about the Cowboys for a minute (And no I am not a fan. I dislike the team even more now that I live in the middle of Cowboys mania). These guys are the anti-Patriots. They are a collection of very talented individuals that don't know how to play together as a team. They lack those "locker room" guys that know how to keep everyone in line. There are no leaders on this team. You would think every team in the NFL would get it by now and follow the Patriots blueprint when it comes to building a team. No one individual is bigger than the whole.

Then you have the fans of the Cowboys. They don't even compare to the fans in New England. I have already heard the phrase, "wait till next year" uttered more than a few times in recent weeks. You think I heard that tonight at the Patriots game once after the crushing loss to the Jets? My favorite part of living in Texas would be experiencing just how hated the Patriots have become. We are THAT team. I am not a morning person, and I could do without Monday's, but during the football season there is no better feeling than walking into work after a Patriots win. Last year's run was fun but this year's season has been even better because we are just like any other football team out there except we usually find a way to win each week.

When I looked at the schedule this year, I targeted the Buffalo and Jets game as the two games I would come home to see. At the time, it was easy to pick these games because I could take a week off from work and catch two games on one trip. Little did I know that these would be the beginning of a three game AFC East stretch that could determine the division winner. At the beginning of the season, did anyone really think there would be serious competition in the East? Sunday's game against Buffalo was one of those classic dominant performances from the Patriots. The scoreboard may not have been that lopsided, but the game sure was. I walked out of the stadium that day feeling good about the Patriots season and their playoff prospects.

Then you had that roller coaster of a game against the Jets on Thursday night. Despite the loss, I still feel good about this team. They showed that they could come back if needed. Cassel looked very comfortable in the no huddle offense and took advantage of a wide open middle of the field to rush for a team leading 62 yards. Anyone out there know the last time a Patriots QB led the team in rushing? The D had its moments, they stepped it up in second half when they needed to, but couldn't close the deal towards the end of the fourth quarter and again in overtime. The play that killed the Pats was the kick off return for a touchdown. Kick off coverage is the one area that the Patriots continue to be sub par in. All in all it was a solid effort, and even though they lost this game, it could be the one we remember at the end of the season. In short, the game that Cassel showed us he can be "Joe Cool" and engineer a fourth quarter comeback.

Instead of Kevin's patented Zingers, I'll just use this space for some not so random rants:

Don't be like Kevin. Never bring the latest holiday cookies to tailgating when it is your turn to bring the dessert or for that matter an unthawed frozen banana cream pie when it is 22 degrees outside.

If you are going to be responsible for dessert, take a cue from Jaime (aka Jules) and make 2 pans of brownies, one cake like with frosting and the other Ghirardelli.

Another tailgating no no, is Matt (Salem is God's Country) Condon's Polish slim jims. Are you kidding me??

If you have never taking a road trip (outside of the AFC East), I highly recommend taking one. New Orleans and Tampa Bay are two appealing road games next year.

That's it for my turn. Hope you enjoyed it.