Blah #1: The events at U.S. Cellular Field last night are a perfect example of what I was talking about the other day. In any other year previous to 2004, we’d wake up this morning to a bleary-eyed Red Sox fury, largely directed at Tony Graffanino for his error in the fifth inning that led to a three-run homer and a loss in Game Two. Funny thing happened on the way to the shower this morning, though: I don’t feel down. At all. It’s not because the Red Sox have nearly perfected the art of comebacks, either. I’m certainly not sitting smugly on my couch thinking it’s inevitable that the Sox will come back to win. In some ways, that could be the toughest task yet in their recent playoff runs over the last few years. We’re looking at a hungry, young group of Chicago players with nothing to fear and an excellent pitching staff.
What I am feeling is actually slightly scary: calm. I shouldn’t be. This is new ground for us after winning it all last season and maybe we’re still drunk from that. Maybe we’re just giving the Red Sox a free pass because of 2004, but I’ll be damned if the Boston press were even a little light on the team this morning! You know things are different when you see something like that. So it’s not a calmness breeding confidence. It’s just calm. If we win, great.
By the way, it wasn’t Graffanino pitching when that meatball was thrown to Tadahito Iguchi. Just sayin.’ The good signs were certainly there, too – the Sox were roping balls all over that yard last night. It’s a game of inches. If Nixon had swung that bat just a half-second earlier in the 8th last night…..
Blah #2: Meanwhile, over at the TDBanknorth Garden, the Bruins apparantly had some kind of ridiculous red-carpet ceremony that even the players must have been completely embarassed to have participated in. Is that the way the Bruins wanted to welcome back their fans? By letting them line up on a red carpet while the players walked into the building? As a special bonus, each fan was then given a mini-replica of the Stanley Cup as a gift from the NHL brass? Yikes. Tell you what, if you really want to treat the fans to something special, get rid of ten teams so we can see great hockey every night again. I’m glad the game is back and I’ll certainly be watching the Bruins closely this year, but when nearly 1/3rd of the league’s players would have been classified as minor leaguers 15 years ago, that’s not a nice gift to fans. Hard to say it, but maybe lack of attendance will kill a few teams off. Probably not.
Oh, by the way, the Bruins picked up right where they left off – a last second loss to Montreal. The fans picked up where they left off, too, littering the ice with those little Stanley Cups just after Montreal scored to win it, thereby proving that the fans are more interested in putting the Stanley Cup on the ice than the actual team is. The more things change…..
Blah #3: Finally, my week wouldn’t be complete without mention of Arrested Development, who unleashed yet another classic this week, amid heavy rumors of its impending cancellation (oh, all the good ones get cancelled anyway). Regardless, the unhealthy obsession with Happy Days continues. As you already may know, Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) narrates the show and up until last week, Henry Winkler (Fonz) played the family lawyer and had many memorable moments, including the ultimate salute when he literally jumped over a (rubber) shark on the pier. Well, Winkler’s off to another sitcom now and off the show. Replacing him is (drumroll) Scott Baio, the new family lawyer named Bob Loblaw. Go ahead, say the name a few times, you’ll get it eventually. Bob Loblaw.