October 19, 2017

The Columnists Have Arrived To Place Tonight’s Events In Their Proper Context

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

See, I thought the Patriots were just playing a practice game tonight.

Evidently, it’s much more than that. It has to be – the general columnists have arrived this morning, to instruct us on What This All Means.

Shouldn’t these guys be in Baltimore or someplace? Somewhere ‘important’?

Bob Ryan of the Globe is such a purist that he can’t bring himself to type ‘pre-season’, because that would mean he’s drinking somebody’s ‘Kool Aid’. What did the innocent powdered children’s drink ever do to get this kind of grief? So it’s ‘exhibition’ instead. Good – A Man of Principle. Yeah, this is somebody I need to hear from first thing this morning. It’s like somebody gave Lisa Simpson a newspaper column.


Anyway, did you know that the Patriots are favorites to win the Super Bowl this season? I don’t know how I miss this stuff. Context! And by the way, wear light jackets when visiting Phoenix next February. Got your tickets yet? It’s OK, Bob says it’s cool to make plans.


Thankfully, Steve Buckley of the Herald is also on the scene to examine the most important aspect of tonight’s epic battle – how this will affect the Red Sox, or most importantly, Red Sox Nation. I shit you not. Buckley is absolutely intrigued by what you’re going to do on the evening of September 16th; watch the Pats play the Chargers, or watch the Red Sox play the Yankees.

Honest to God, that was the first thing I thought of this morning too. In fact, I didn’t sleep all that well, worrying about it. I don’t want to wish away the next month, but what on God’s Green Earth will people do? How will they vote in the big Red Sox and Patriots election? And What Will It All Mean?

I suspect Steve will be back to tell us. I can hardly wait.

Get this though – Buckley references Patriots quarterback Austin Powers, as well as new teammate (and part-time model) Dante Wesley, and muses that “the days of leather helmets and no facemasks are far behind us.” No shit, Sherlock. Hey Steve – what year is this, exactly?

I’ve got a headache. What kind of world is it where people like Reiss, Breer and Tomase get pushed to the bottom of the Internet so Ryan and Buckley can top the page with this waste of space?

Never mind, I know the answer. I cannot believe that Dan Shaughnessy missed this opportunity to tell us what a ignorant lot football fans are.

Anyway, I have a feeling that the Big Three know full well that we’ll forget all about tonight’s practice game by tomorrow night, unless somebody gets killed or something (God forbid, by the way). Breer has our Feature of the Day, an instructive look at what the Patriots will try to accomplish tonight. Reiss has a nice bit outlining ten things to look for, and Tomase has a grab bag of Game Face notes.

You don’t need to read anything else, take my word for it. But I suppose if you need Context, you can continue to search patriotslinks.com for the answer.

Oh, dammit, I can’t wait! What are you going to do on September 16th? Tell me now!


  1. Sorry, that’s a no-brainer. Watch the Pats game, of course. I suppose we might flip over during commercials to check the score…but baseball is mainly what I watch to kill time until football season.

    re: the Kool-Aid–Jim Jones, of course. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones
    Although I learned it was actually Flavor Aid, but who’s ever heard of that?

  2. Ungoddambelievable. With all the time he spends picturing Jacob Ellsbury in tight boxers, it’s a wonder Buckley has any energy left to ruminate on a night six freakin’ weeks from now. Hack di tutti hacks. As if we needed more: Larry Johnson this morning reiterating that “the Red Sawx are ALWAYS THEEEEE story.” It’s like if they don’t keep saying it somehow it may not always be thus. Kind of like “can [fill in player name] play in Boston?[Name of any other town besides New York] is no Boston.”


  3. David Clemeno says:


    Being a fellow O.B. (old bahstid — 8 yrs old in 1963 watching the Pats lose to SD 51 – 10 in the AFL title game), I just wanna say thanks to you and the boys for putting this page together, for providing links to “good” media guys (seems a little oxymoronic, doesn’t it?) and for all the articles over on BSMW over the past couple of years.

    I always come here first when looking for a Pats fix. Many, if not most times I go no further. It amazes me that here and on BSMW, a bunch of loser fan boys ™ can have a more “professional” discussion of my beloved Pats than the pack of pretenders who actually have the access and get paid to do it for a living. With the exception of the few who get it, the rest can go rot in anonymity, which for them WOULD be he77.

    Anwyay, I’m as geeked up as I’ve ever been for a football season and will be watching tonight right down to the final whistle. Since we all know this is a “Red Sox town — always has been, always will” (oh btw, where were the big crowds prior to 1967?), I beg forgiveness from the media elite for daring to commit the mortal sin of having no interest at all in the lads who ply their trade in the lyric, little bandbox. Geez, after typing that I think I just came down with diabetes.

    Thanks again, keep up the excellent efforts…

    — Dave Clemeno, Amesbury, MA

  4. 2 tears in a bucket so mutha-mutha-Plunkett says:

    I thought the Sox season ended on Wednesday? They didn’t play last night, well I don’t think they did the Indy-Dallas PRESEASON game was running on Fox so I didn’t check NESN.

  5. Thank YOU Dave. I don’t know what we did to deserve such outstanding support, but we’ll try to keep doing it.

  6. I didn’t mind Ryan’s column. It was laid out well and brought up some issues the team might have. Not a hackish Shank or Borgie piece.

  7. Box Score says:

    All I know is Buckley’s diary entry for 9-16 is going to be soooo dramatic. He’s at his best when balancing on the razor’s edge of emotion. Coincidentally this usually happens about once per month.

    Whether it’s preseason or exhibition season, Ryan’s belly button is still mercilessly buried beneath his belt-line. Most can’t pull of the “high pants and flooded ankles” look and be taken seriously, but Bob wears a wedgie with dignity and aplomb.

  8. That’s fine. I happen to think it was a generic rehash of topics that Reiss, Gasper, Breer, Tomase have all covered in great detail since last January. What’s the point of writing it all down again, unless its to cater to the people who barely pay attention? But what’s truly objectionable, beyond the predictable and tired “the pre-season is a SHAM perpetrated on innocent consumers!’ storyline, is the whole ‘circling the date on your calendar’ BS. Anybody who’s paying attention knows exactly what that’s worth. Like Ellis Hobbs says, the worst thing to be is a paper champ. What’s the point of telling people what to wear in Phoenix in February, other than to set up the inevitable ‘disappointment’ follow-up column down the road? Pap.

  9. No, it wasn’t hackish like Shank or Borges, with the exception of the paragraph about apologizing to Brady and the fans (WTF was that about?), and “the decision to play hardball with Branch”. Decision? He was under contract, or has that already been forgotten in the wave of revisionist history?

    Mostly, Ryan’s piece was just a Johnny-come-lately rehash. There’s nothing insightful here, nothing that hasn’t already been discussed ad nauseum. So the issues are Samuel sitting out, Maroney going fulltime, Harrison being old, and Brady getting injured? Thanks for telling us nothing. At least “How long ’til Moss implodes?” wasn’t on the list, so I guess we should be thankful it wasn’t Shankful.

    I like Ryan a lot, but this was just a waste of time. Probably for him, too.

  10. Box Score says:

    I am just really glad that I’ll have the chance to hit someone else tonight.

  11. On Sept. 16th I for one will be curled up by the fire, re-reading my copy of “The Collected Works of Santayana as Annotated by Manny Ramirez”.

  12. Hey Box, sorry about last year, you know, sticking you with Caldwell and all that, after we played hardball with Deion by locking him out of camp. That was bush league on our part, not to mention arrogant. Totally screwed up, and we’re sorry. We’ll make it up to you. We’re pretty sure Randy Moss will agree to take ten cents on the dollar in a couple of months, for example. Will that square us?

    Sorry seems to be the hardest word.

  13. Who has a fire on September 16th? That’s crazy talk.

  14. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    Wow, “Simpsons” and “Stripes” subreferences in the same post? What, is Dennis Miller working for you now (looks like he needs a gig, if Fox News* Channel’s “1/2 Hour News Hour” is the best he can get).

    And speaking of bad TV: I caught, and learned nothing from, ESPN’s “Coors Cold Football Facts” on “SportsCenter” last night. Cool, I thought, the guys from ColdHardFootballFacts.com are getting some TV exposure on the four-letter network. Nice.

    Not nice. I was just confused — as in the kind of confusion caused by trademark infringement you hear about during trademark-infringement lawsuits. So, any idea if our buds at CHFF.C have any plans to take down ESPN, a/k/a the prettiest girl at closing time when it comes to sports TV networks?

    Oh yeah, before I forget: Bob Ryan sucks. Someone should just, I don’t know, “smack” him.

  15. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    Oops. Actually the ESPN feature was called “Coors Light Cold Hard Facts.” My bad …. see how confused I am?

  16. Mike from North Reading says:

    First time I’ve read your site and I nearly spit out my drink. Hilarious sardonic tone and I agree 100% with how pompous and clueless the general columnists can come off when they deign to write on something other than the Red Sox.

  17. Hey, Mike, welcome. Good to finally have you on board. Now we can stop having those ‘what do we have to do to get Mike from North Reading to click on this goddam link already?’ meetings. Bruce has been obsessed with this – he’s freaking me out a little.

    Seriously, thanks for checking us out, it’s very much appreciated. Hope to see you again.

  18. Now it’s on to Mike’s next-door neighbor. We will go door-to-door if we have to!

  19. I tried that door-to-door thing last season. Turns out the guy two doors down from me doesn’t give a fig about football. Big NRA guy, though. I pretty much have kept the whole ‘I Heart Patriots’ thing to myself ever since. Besides, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have this whole turf thing when it comes to knocking on doors. I’m not going to try to compete with those guys – they have Prince. All I have is ‘boy, that Tom Brady’s awesome, isn’t he, ladies’. That doesn’t hold up against a guy that can play twenty instruments. It most certainly does not.

  20. Apologies in advance to all the people I have offended in the comments section today, especially you devout, gun-toting Red Sox Nationites. It’s Friday, is about all I can say for myself. And seeing ’20 Comments’ (even if 18 of them are by me) at the top of the page makes me drunk with power.

  21. and of course AFTER tonights PRE-SEASON game we can look forward to columns with these storylines…..If the Pats WIN the storyline will be,, “Now don’t get too excited Pats fans, IT WAS ONLY AN EXHIBITION GAME!”…..and if the Pats LOSE we can look forward to the storyline,,,, “UH-OH PATS FANS! THE PATRIOTS MIGHT NOT BE AS GOOD AS YOU THOUGHT!!……one thing about the Boston sports media, they are predictable.

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