Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
The sign just outside the toll booth at Boston’s Logan Airport says, “Welcome to Boston. Home of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox.”
No mention of the New England Patriots, who happen to be world champions two years running.
“That’s because the Patriots are in Foxborough, and that’s 45 minutes away,” explains my cab driver.
The bartender at the Cask N’ Flagon says that when the Patriots host the Oakland Raiders Thursday night, he’ll have at least a few televisions on the NFL opener so Red Sox fans can keep an eye on football as well.
The Cask N’ Flagon is located behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park. There are only a handful of patrons as the Red Sox are tied 2-2 in the ninth with the Los Angeles Angels.
A few moments later, after David Ortiz homers into the right field bleachers, it is wall-to-wall people – with virtually everyone adorned in Red Sox gear.
Within the sea of humanity is one guy with a “New England Patriots” sweatshirt. He says he loves the Patriots, but worships the Red Sox. The local media reflects that sentiment.
In the Boston Globe, the win over the Angels rates a column by the esteemed Dan Shaughnessy, a game story, two sidebars and a notebook that takes up half a page.
In advance of New England’s opener, the Patriots get a feature on running back Corey Dillon and a notebook about half the size of the one on the Red Sox.
Amid the pan handlers outside of Fenway, most of whom are carrying signs concerning their plight, is a man in a Red Sox cap holding a sign that says, “Why Lie? I need a beer.”
On Landsdowne Street, an apparently unlicensed T-shirt salesman is receiving a citation from a police officer. His shirt has a lewd suggestion regarding Yankees stars Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez and Randy Johnson.
Laying The Wood
Think Charles Woodson is planning on changing his game after being nailed with several illegal contact penalties last season?
“You’ve just got to play, man,” Woodson said. “If you’re out there thinking too much about the way they’re going to call this, or call that, you’ll be thinking about the wrong thing instead of the game.”
Woodson sounds as if he’d be happy with a return to the Jack Tatum-George Atkinson style of football.
“Every year it seems like it’s more and more offensive-minded,” Woodson said. “I never thought I’d see a time where they’d outlaw a way you can tackle a player. You can’t tackle a guy high, you can’t hit a guy if he’s not close to the ball, you can’t hit a punter if he’s not in the play. That’s crazy. They’re making it tough on us defenders on how aggressive we can be and I think it takes away from the game a little bit.”