October 02, 2007
Early Bus Warming Can Be Fun
BY: Kevin Rousseau
As the Patriots hit the quarter pole in this 2007 season, the thing is this:
I have no idea where, in a historical context, to put this team. Really, the only local example that comes to mind is the 1985-86 Celtics who had the bus warmed up most nights by 7:45 p.m.
But before we get to all of that good stuff, please humor me and sit through my annual MNF rant. It used to be that the Patriots on MNF would be the occasion for food, beers, buddies and a late arrival at my place of employment the following day. As I hit a little past my own quarter pole in life, my outlook on these affairs has darkened. Before the Cincinnati game the alarm clock on my cell phone was set to go off at 8:30 in order to allow for a short cat nap. Then it was a cup of Dunkin' Donuts French vanilla coffee and the dreadful feeling that 5:45 a.m. is going to come fairly quickly and I still have a column to do after the game. I can't believe it. I've turned into my father. If the game isn't at Sunday at one, I get a little cranky.
Like the 85-86 Celtics would do, the bus was warmed up for this game fairly early on even if the score was a little tight in the first half. After Cincinnati lost two of their four dressed linebackers, it was time to relax and know this one was in the bag. It got so bad for the Bengals that they put in a call to Les Nessman and failed to get him away from preparing for his WKRP turkey drop in order to line up at the Mike position.
Over the last few years, the way the Patriots played had me on the edge of my couch most of the time. On Monday night, I leaned forward exactly twice. Once when Tom Brady---oh my gosh---threw an interception in Patriots territory and then when the Patriots put he game on ice as Sammy Morris walked into the end zone on a 3-and-3 with 4:11 minutes left in the second quarter to make it a 17-7 game. That's it. Twice.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was against the Randy Moss trade. At least give me credit for standing up and not majoring in revisionist history. I half-expect that when I visit my grandfather next weekend, I'll have to teach him how to do that Moss touchdown celebration when he separates his hands. And when Mike Vrabel and Junior Seau come in on offense near the goal line, I whisper to myself "Why are they tempting fate with these guys?" The result of course is a touchdown pass to Vrabel. Right now, everything the Patriots touch turns to gold.
I guess the compartment I'll put the Patriots in is this one: Like the Bird-era Celtics, with the Patriots you know what's coming and you are powerless to stop it. Maybe the Cowboys or the Colts can give them a game, but besides them just who is going to stop this train as the season rolls on? I just hope you appreciate this moment that you find yourself in. It's once in a lifetime.
Like the Patriots, I'm warming up the bus early with this column. 5:45 a.m. is closer than I want it to be. Gosh, I must be getting old. What's not getting old though is how this team is ripping through the NFL in its 89th season.
Idle Zinger thoughts while looking forward to the NFL celebrating "French Canadian Heritage Month:"
Was there anything more silly than that Red Sox City Hall rally with the team's physical therapist being the biggest draw?
After the Red Sox season is over, I am personally offering to drive down to Boston and drive any Red Sox player with a number that begins with a 2 and ends with a 4 on an all expense paid ride to Logan Airport for his permanent ride out of town. (Given my track record, Manny will light it up in the playoffs after this proclamation.)
Speaking of Manny, that is my pseudonym when putting my name in at a restaurant. Try doing it some time. It's a cheap thrill.
There are few things more amusing than watching a dejected home team fan who took the time to paint his face before the game.
Score one for the cheapo TV crowd. I was on the phone with Ian when Asante Samuel picked off Carson Palmer in the red zone. His response? "Thanks. On the HD, the play hasn't gone off yet."
My buddy Tom made one helluva catch in the Gray-New Gloucester flag football league. Trust me, it's worth scrolling to the 8:05 mark of this video to see this snag. Here it is.
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