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Jerry Ballgame weighs in on this, an exciting time of the year for Boston sports.

We are hitting that time of the year in these parts that can cause a sports fan to overdose. The Sox are preparing for the playoffs, the Patriots are hitting their stride (for better or worse), the Bruins are finishing their pre-season and the Celtics are about ready to once again, lace them up. It’s very difficult to keep one’s focus on particular sport. So, rather than try to write in depth on any one topic, I’ve decided to bring back the “Hublet”, and touch upon a variety of items.

NEWSFLASH: BELICHICK DOES NOT LIKE THE MEDIA!:

Big shock, this guy isn't a barrel of laughs on the mic. (USATSI)
Big shock, this guy isn’t a barrel of laughs on the mic. (USATSI)

Let me read something to you:

Then there was the media…..nor was it something that came naturally to Belichick. His instinct was to draw back from it. What some media people often wanted to talk about seemed either frivolous, or invasive, and they soon tired of hearing him answer, when they asked about an injured player, that he was not a doctor. The lines were drawn very early on. He did not handle it well……..

The above selection is from the 2005 David Halberstam book, THE EDUCATION OF A COACH, which is a very insightful look at the man who is Bill Belichick. (I highly recommended it. It’s short, 172 pages, concise, very readable.) The particular piece that I selected for your enjoyment deals with the problems Bill had with the Cleveland media, when he was the Browns’ head coach back in 1991.  I’ll repeat the for those of you on the west coast, 1991. I believe that’s about 22 years ago. So, why is the Boston media spending hours this week talking about another run in or two he’s had recently with members of the media as if it was news? I get he can be abrasive and probably could make things easier for himself by spitting out the clichéd answers that many coaches do. But that’s not him; never has been, and I assume, never will be. I suppose you can be a “media darling”, and still be a successful head coach. You know, like Rex Ryan….

SPEAKING OF THE 3-0 PATRIOTS:

Is Gronk going to finally suit up in Week 4?(USATSI)
Is Gronk going to finally suit up in Week 4? (USATSI)

You don’t have to be a veteran watcher of sports to know that a successful season can often be helped along by a few scheduling breaks. I believe this to be especially true in football, where there are fewer games and where the timing of injuries can have a significant impact on the success of a season. The Patriots’ 3-0 start was certainly helped by playing against rookie QBs in their first two games and the offensively challenged Bucs in their third. Now they head down to Atlanta for a Sunday night game with the 1-2 Falcons, who are missing key people. They will be without running back Steven Jackson, the ever important left tackle Sam Baker, pass rusher Kroy Biermann and linebacker Sean Witherspoon. Add to that list the hobbled Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White, and you can understand why I’m feeling a little more optimistic about the Patriots chances of going 4-0. I will like it more if they get contributions from Rob Gronkowski and Danny (if he can stay healthy) Amendola, which at this point still seems up in the air. At any rate, I see the Patriots coming away with a 24-21 victory. Stay tuned….

HOME FIELD:

Some Sox are hoping for home field more than others. (Faith Ninivaggi)
Some Sox are hoping for home field more than others. (Faith Ninivaggi)

As I write this, the Red Sox have a one game lead over Oakland for the best record in the American lead. Considering that the 10-13 John Lackey seems to struggle on the road where he’s something like 4-10, and the Sox have, in general, been more effective at Fenway, I’m definitely hoping that they can hang on and capture home field advantage. I also think it enhances their chances of going deeper into post season if they face the winner of the wild card playoff. I’m hoping it’s Cleveland, who the Sox were 6-1 against this year, but have a feeling it will be the Rays. Although Boston had a 12-7 seasonal edge against them, their pitching staff of Price, Moore, Cobb and Archer, (wait, aren’t they on “Mad Men”?) could be scary in a short series. At least we won’t have to wait to much longer to find out.

A CLAWS IN HIS CONTRACT:

Look what the cats dragged in.... (CSNNE.Com)
Look what the cats dragged in…. (CSNNE.Com)

Apparently, former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has changed his bear claws for panther ones. Thomas is trying out for the Florida Panthers and is expected to make the team. Some are saying he may even be their number one. There just seems to be something wrong with Tim Thomas playing in the heat. At 39, the odds are pretty good that he melts before the season is over…

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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