April 22, 2002

Welcome to Winnersville: On Sunday the Celtics and Bruins won playoff games over longtime rivals, the Red Sox swept the Royals, and the Patriots traded Drue Bledsoe. Is this the best day ever for New England sports?

posted by kirkaracha to culture at 05:55 PM - 16 comments

Even in my very brief experience as a Bostonian, yesterday was only third on the list of sports days, behind Borque's Cup and the Pat's Super Bowl. Yeah, it was cool to win that way across all the different sports but wins over the Royals and an 8th seed are not the days of myth and memory, as the Super Bowl was, nor the sort of incredible outpouring of love and respect that there was for Borque.

posted by tieguy at 08:22 PM on April 22

When a group has had so little for so long, an average day looks good. Here's a few reminders, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, Babe Ruth, Rick Pitino, and the Yankees have won 26 World Series, The Giants two Super Bowls.

posted by jbou at 08:32 PM on April 22

This honestly isn't meant as a flame, but it's not all that effective to accuse Boston fans of having had very little to cheer about. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Pedro Martinez, 9 NBA titles in a row, Ray Bourque, some decent number of NCAA hockey championships, Doug Flutie, Ted Williams, and so on. It makes a better accusation if you use it on Cleveland.

posted by Bryant at 08:56 PM on April 22

Ray Bourque left Boston to win his Cup, and Mr. Orr, it might be time to win another Cup, I know young hockey fans who couldn't pick Orr out of a lineup. Pedro, he's a good pitcher, but have the Sox been to the Series recently, ah yes the Celtics, the one thing Boston fans could be proud of, till Pintino came to town, Flutie, reminds of a song That Magic Moment. Ted Williams, does he have a World Series Ring? NCAA Hockey, does anybody care about college hockey, other then a few people in Boston, and the states of MI and MN. Cleveland, don't get me started.

posted by jbou at 09:14 PM on April 22

Drew Bledsoe's trade ruined the day for me. Good luck finding a classier, harder-working player. He took all of the hits (literally and figuratively) for the Patriots for nine seasons and was never properly appreciated. Tom Brady is incredibly overrated and quite simply isn't half the quarterback Bledsoe is. Brady just happened to be in the right place at the right time and the beneficiary of a running game (something Bledsoe hasn't had since Curtis Martin bolted), the arrival of David Patten from literally nowhere, and an overachieving defense that made many more plays than Brady ever did. The Pats dumbed down the offense for Brady, everything was a five-yard slant and a quick reciever screen. Troy Brown was more important to the Patriots in 2001 than Brady. You could almost say the same for Antowain Smith. And Adam Vinatieri was robbed of the Super Bowl MVP award. Brady's pedestrian statistics did not warrant a Pro Bowl appearance -- compare his numbers to the rest of the guys selected for this year's game (try Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia etc..) and those of year's past. Brady can't throw downfield and gets sacked just as much as Bledsoe did. He will be exposed this season. Just watch. Brady became a media darling, and he's a great story and a likeable guy, but the press and apparently the Patriots' braintrust have overlooked his shortcomings. Look, I know everyone is going to say, "Well, Brady just wins and he won the Super Bowl." Time will tell, and I hope I am wrong, but I'm sure the Pats will regret this move, and they will especially regret trading Bledsoe within the division. I love the Pats, but I'll be keeping an eye on the Bills.

posted by Conquistador at 11:13 PM on April 22

Brady is badly overrated, and he'll regress to the mean this year, but Bledsoe is pretty overrated too. He has a gun, and incredible precision, and he's incredibly tough. On at least the first two counts, he's a vastly, vastly better QB than Brady. But he is horribly turnover prone, and that can outweigh a lot of positives on the field. The only season of his entire career where he had fewer turnovers than Brady did this year was... this year, when he had a total of two starts. And despite his better arm and accuracy, Bledsoe had a higher QB rating than Brady did this year only once in his entire career. So... dunno. Yeah, Bledsoe will go down in the long run as a much better QB than Brady. But he's not so much better that the Pats will miss him all that much, I don't think.
That said... one first round pick? That's it? In a league desperate for QBs? The Pats made a lot of great pickups last offseason, but it's really pathetic that they couldn't get more for Bledsoe. I know I certainly wouldn't have been hurt to see him in a Dolphins uniform.

posted by tieguy at 11:49 PM on April 22

they aren't so desperate that they want bledsoe's contract, tieguy.

posted by moz at 01:00 AM on April 23

I have to put some of the blame for Bledsoe's turnovers on his offensive line. The guy got rushed just way, way too often over the last four or five years. He'd have been incredible on a team with a solid offensive line, and may be yet. I'm surprised at the low return as well, but the contract is a big weight and of course everyone has to emulate the Super Bowl winners and go cheap. C'est la vie. It was inevitable that Bledsoe would leave the Patroits after Brady kept the starter's job, but Brady had to keep starting to keep the momentum going. The Super Bowl win was worth it. jbou: nice troll. Sorry I won't rise to it, though.

posted by Bryant at 01:20 AM on April 23

Bryant, I am in MA, but have no love for the local teams, and I work with some diehard Beantown sports fans so I have become very good at making jokes at Bostons expense.

posted by jbou at 01:36 AM on April 23

I have to admit that I was never a huge Bledsoe fan. I don't know if it was that coccky smirk or his stage-diving fiasco, but I never appreciated him until last season. He sat on the bench and encouraged Brady all the way. That's class that isn't regularly seen in the NFL. I hope something clicks between him and the Buffalo squad and they find a successful combination. A guy with that kind of humility deserves it.

posted by ttrendel at 02:34 AM on April 23

moz: oh, true. Conveniently forgot about that. ttrendel: I agree heartily with your entire comment... except that I couldn't ever cheer for a Bill to be successful, no matter how much class was involved. I grew up really, really, really hating Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. I found it hard to cheer for the latter even when he ended his career in a Dolphin's uniform. Ah, well, such is fandom. :)

posted by tieguy at 09:05 AM on April 23

Looks to me, sitting in my Buffalo office, like the Bills may have put together a decent O-line, and that Bledsoe may have the benifit of getting some protection for the first time in a long time. Hard to know what the deal is with Brady, but it seems pretty sure that Bledsoe will find himself in Canton when his career is over. The only question I have is whether the Bills just picked up a Hall of Fame QB, or a QB at the tail end of a Hall of Fame career.

posted by outside counsel at 09:13 AM on April 23

Golly, I don't think Bledsoe should even be considered for the HoF at this point. He's thrown for a bajillion yards in a couple of seasons, but unless we're letting them in for the size of their contracts...

posted by pastepotpete at 09:50 AM on April 23

Is Dan Marino a Hall of Famer? Bledsoe's got more rings...

posted by Conquistador at 10:20 AM on April 23

Boston Blows

posted by catfish at 06:57 AM on April 26

I think we can probably find room in the HoF for the all time leader in attempts, completions, passing yards and TD's. You've set an excellent standard though. When that huge "winner" Bledsoe gets those kind of numbers, start a new thread.

posted by pastepotpete at 09:06 AM on April 26

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