I have a confession to make. My favorite Boston sports team is the Red Sox. An odd admission for a writer on a NFL-focused website, but one that probably doesn’t surprise any Boston readers born before 2001. The Masshole Creed is God, Country, Family, Red Sox, and those last two might swap depending on how close we are to opening day. A few months ago, I was introduced to a friend’s new boyfriend, who, upon learning I was a Boston sports fan, asked “Which would you choose: 5 more Patriots Super Bowl victories or 1 Red Sox World Series title?” I told him it wasn’t even close. He told me he’d never heard a true Boston fan hesitate.
And so it was with much heartbreak that I came to the realization last week that I no longer care about the 2012 Red Sox season. For most of the year I’ve thought, “well if we can just put together a nice 8 game road streak we’ll be back in the hunt for the second wild card spot.” I’ve even gotten excited about the return of Carl Crawford, hoping he might be back to Tampa Bay form and the catalyst this team needs. I was a fool. The 2012 Red Sox are 6.5 games behind the Orioles in the Wild Card race. The Orioles, a team with a negative 45 run differential against opponents. The Orioles, a team whose last winning season came, not only before Britney Spears went crazy and shaved her head, but before Spears released her debut album “Oops…I Did It Again”. BB – Before Britney!
I didn’t give up on the Sox this year simply because they are losing. I gave up because they are one of the most unlikeable sports teams I’ve ever witnessed, a clubhouse full of prima donnas. The latest drama stemmed from a mysterious players-only meeting, the purpose of which, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo!, was for the players to demand that the owners fire manager Bobby Valentine. Allegedly, the meeting was called by Kelly Shooppach via a text message on Adrian Gonzalez’ phone. In the days that have passed since the story broke, the players, owners and even Bobby Valentine have put various spins on the events to downplay their significance. One thing is clear- Valentine is no longer in charge of his clubhouse. Thinking about the events of the last year made me wonder how the Patriots organization would react in similar situations:
On fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse in 2011: The only player on last year’s Patriots ballsy enough to try this is Chad OchoJohnson. Had Bill Belichick walked in on Ocho with a beer can in his hand, he’d have been cut faster than you can say “your only career option left is competing with Ryan Lochte on reality TV.” I’m not sure about the fried chicken policy in the Pats locker room, but football is a lot more aerobic than baseball. So, if the guys want to eat fried chicken during a game, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.
On Sox ownership telling Valentine to go easy on the players after Valentine apparently said “nice inning” to the two-error committing, Will Middlebrooks: Are you kidding me? Have you heard Belichick’s sideline commentary to the players? A sarcastic “nice inning” is like a pat on the tush in comparison to some of the stuff that gets said on the sidelines. Furthermore, Robert Kraft would never tell Belichick how to manage his team once the game clock starts ticking.
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On “The Meeting”: There is only one player on the New England Patriots who could text Bob Kraft and the players, and ask for a meeting to discuss why he he was unhappy with Coach B. Bob’s likely response? “Didn’t know how to text back until I asked Ricki. Instead of a calling a meeting reminiscent of Mean Girls, why don’t you write Bill a thank you note for giving you a career and a hot Brazilian wife? Better yet, why don’t you also send him a sleeveless hoodie made of gold?”
None of the things that have happened with the 2011-12 Red Sox would even be plausible on the New England Patriots. Beckett would have been benched. Youkilis would still be running laps for all of his public complaining. Adrian Gonzalez would be carrying the rookies’ pads in training camp. No, this stuff doesn’t happen on Bill Belichick’s watch. On Rex Ryan’s watch? That’s another story…