You may have noticed we didn’t have tea time last week. There were a few reasons for this. First of all, we were much too busy with therapy after the end of the Red Sox season. We had to face that pain, and in doing so, writing blog posts took a back seat to bashing our heads against the wall, tearing out our hair, sobbing in the corner, and wistfully gazing out the window.
But now there is nothing to do but look to the future, to a winter of not the one paltry sport of summer but three wonderful sports all in season at the same time: football, basketball and hockey. And so, baseball, we bid you adieu until that glorious day when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, this week over our cup of tea.
Oh, and then there was also some football game on Sunday. Went well for the Patriots, I hear.
M: Our leading topic today should be pretty obvious.
S: Um, clearly. Because really, what else is there to talk about? The Sox are out, the Bruins are… well, failing, the Celts are in preseason and don’t really count right now, but dear lord, the PATRIOTS.
M: Yeah, for all our pouting over the details over the past few weeks, Brady and the boys clearly showed up yesterday.
S: I’m pretty positive that last week made the boys REALLY REALLY ANGRY at themselves, and probably came out yesterday feeling like they had something to prove.
M: That’s usually dangerous for the other team when you’re dealing with the Patriots. After these games though, I have to wonder: were the Patriots really that good, or were the Titans really that bad?
S: Well, the Titans are really that bad.
M: You have to wonder. There was a perfect touchdown pass to Moss in the endzone– and I mean PERFECT– but the triple coverage on Moss wasn’t keeping up with him anyway. And then on the next touchdown pass, Wes Welker was wide, wide, wide open.
S: Right. I don’t think if the Patriots had won last week, this would have been QUITE the blowout it was, but it certainly still wouldn’t have been close.
M: Obviously there was some defense that became more apparent after Brady left the game. Brady just was so far beyond their defensive strategy the Titans looked totally hapless when he was out there.
M: It is easy for people to forget in that game that the Patriots defense really played well too. The Titans could not get anything going at all yesterday. They had 9 first downs and -7 passing yards. That’s NEGATIVE SEVEN. The defense we saw crumbling during the Jets game was not there yesterday. This was an aggressive group. Jerod Mayo is back and they’ve signed Seau, and I think it shows.
M: I was very pleased to see that signing. I don’t care how old he is.
S: I love that guy.
M: Who doesn’t?
S: Yeah. But your point about yesterday’s defense versus the defense we saw against the Jets is a good one – the level of play we saw yesterday was leaps and bounds above even what we saw last week. I think the return of those two will definitely help. Who knows, maybe they’re inspiring something in the rest of the guys to play better, or… something.
M: Well, the coaching staff clearly see Mayo as a leader. And Seau is, like, the veteraniest veteran of all time.
S: That’s so true.
M: But think about exactly what happened during the first half of that game. Brady threw more touchdown passes the first half than 6 of the NFL’s teams had total for the entire season. Granted, those 6 are really shitty teams, but whatever. Didn’t they break, like, 9 franchise records? There’s no doubt in my mind that I got to watch one of the best offensive performances in Patriots history yesterday. And we’ve seen some incredible stuff.
S: Yeah. Thanks for the plethora of score updates, by the way. Good thing I’m awesome at driving and checking twitter.
M: I was delirious.
A Selection of Actual Text Messages Sent On Sunday
M: OMG that was timeless and universal love and beauty. BRADY CAN SEE THRU TIME.
S: Theory: they need a snow game to kickstart their AWESOME. OMG YES NICE RECOVERY HERE TOO
M: Oh man it’s soooooo good.
S: GFKJJGDAFJKLOHFDCRG I want to put edelman in my pocket so I can periodically take him out and hug him
Later that evening…
M: Hey, remember when Brady totally somehow single-handedly gang-raped the titans?
S: Wow, do I. Over/under on whether they’ll need therapy to get through it?
M: I hated Lendale White anyway for being fantasy team deadweight. F*ck him. Vengeance is obviously mine.
S: I did get to see the big second quarter, though. So that was a plus.
M: If you had to pick one quarter to watch…
S: That would have been the one. The one with all the record-breaking.
M: So now the Patriots are headed to London to play Tampa Bay in Wembley Stadium. As you might imagine, I am, like, completely over the moon about this. I mean… woohoo.
S: Right. That’s, um. That’s a little weird.
M: Apparently the game sold out really quickly over there. Hey, give the people what they want.
S: No, that’s cool, I’m glad for them, but I really do not want to know what time that game’s going to be aired here.
M: I believe on the east coast it’s at the normal time. Yeah, 1:00 pm. So quit your bitching.
S: Anyways, should be an awesome spot to see a game; I’m actually not surprised it’s sold out. New England fans are some of the best-travelled.
M: Do you have data to back this up?
S: I have SEEN them with my OWN EYES.
M: Oh, well that’s scientifically valid.
M: Anyway, I needed yesterday’s Patriots high because really, the last two weeks or so have been pretty much a total shit show in Boston sports.
S: This is true. I mean, the Sox? The Bruins’ epic rollercoaster of fail?
M: We couldn’t even do tea time last week because I was too busy sobbing into my pillow and writing in my feelings journal.
S: Ditto. Also hiding from Colorado fans. That was just painful.
M: Shall we just say a few words about the Red Sox and then just pretend it didn’t happen the way it did?
S: Yeah. Dear Sox: Thanks for making the playoffs. See you in April? Let’s just go through the winter and hope next year doesn’t turn into the massive pile of fail that this season did.
M: Yep. I don’t know what the HELL happened to that team in the last few weeks of the season, but holy god, it was UGLY.
S: Seriously. I’m just erasing this from my brain. Next season will be better.
M: Theo has a lot of big decisions to make. I trust him. I’m sure some will be mentioned here.
S: RE-SIGN JASON BAY. I mean….yes, I trust Theo.
M: Not if it isn’t the best thing for the team! And I trust Theo to do the right thing. He’s smarter than us. (Have we disclosed to the public my worship of the Epstein? Or is this new to them?)
S: No, I’m pretty sure they know. Or they should, at least.
M: Folks: it’s a thing.
M: Anyway, so… Bruins. What’s up, guys? Tell us what’s wrong, darlings. We’ll try to make it better. You just have to tell us.
S: Right? I mean you’re all about Epstein and trusting him and everything, I feel the same way about Chiarelli.
M: I do too, actually. I trust the nerdly types.
S: The Kobasew trade can be seen as sort of a… warning shot, no? You don’t produce, you don’t stay.
M: The players apparently got the message. Tim Thomas gave a quote today about it. I’m really not sure how I feel about trades being used as messages to the players though. We shouldn’t trade players to punish the team for playing badly, and I’m worried because that’s how I hear the players talk about it– if they don’t play well, they lose their friends in trades. To me, that’s pretty messed up, and I don’t think that’s how Chiarelli intends the “warning shot” to be interpreted.
S: There are other motivators being brought out too: Chiarelli’s giving Sobotka and Marchand the opportunity to prove themselves, but at the same time, that’s another threat to those players who might have seen their spots as guaranteed and safe before. No one’s safe. Providence is only an hour down the road, guys. Shape up or ship out. And quit sucking, please.
M: But that’s the thing: they don’t suck all the time. If they sucked consistently, that would be one thing. But they don’t.
S: Yeah, that Carolina game, the Dallas game – in all the games we’ve won, we’ve only given up three goals combined, I believe.
M: And we’re the only team to have beat Dallas in regulation! It’s not like we beat a crap team there.
S: It’s the Phoenix, the Avalanche games, where we give up three, four goals, and the team just skates around like chickens with their heads cut off – what is even going on?
M: [pictures headless chickens skating]
S: And we stonewalled Dallas – yet we lost to the DUCKS. We lost to the Avs and the Coyotes, too, but those teams are weirdly on fire. The Avs have beat the Red Wings, the Bruins, the Sharks… it’s like some sort of weird, alternate-reality Avalanche team. I don’t like this.
M: I have no idea. Honestly, I watched the Phoenix game and all I could think was that there’s got to be something going on that we don’t know about… bad practices, some kind of locker room problem, something else. Because it appears to be completely psychological.
S: Maybe it’s just early-season struggles and theyll get their shit together soon. Who knows.
M: Another theory I had is that they’ve psyched themselves out thinking they have to compensate for the loss of Kessel and so get all worked up about fancy stuff. I mean, that Dallas game, they kept it really simple.
S: If that’s the case, they need to follow Matt Hunwick’s advice and just KEEP IT SIMPLE. (Get out of my brain please.) But yeah, the Dallas game looked good. They still weren’t incredibly quick on their feet, but the passes were clean, they didn’t try anything new and fancy, it was just good tough simple hockey, enough said.
M: Matt Hunwick needs to follow my advice and GET HIS FEET MOVING.
S: YES HE DOES. Speaking of defensemen and moving their feet, Johnny Boychuk’s hustle has been AWESOME so far.
M: Definitely. Worth noting, by the way, Julien maintains that the locker room is “solid” and there’s good leadership. But maybe it isn’t a group psychology thing– it’s in the individuals. I don’t know. We can’t know. I would just really like to see them start picking up the wins. I’m trying not to get antsy or anything but…
S: Yeah. Let’s see what happens this week. October hockey is weird.
M: I think I’m probably oversensitive because of the Red Sox.
S: And the Patriots before yesterday.
M: Yes. It’s been a difficult time here. BUT. The Celtics open their season on October 27th. And the heavens will open and all the angels will sing.
S: Um, awesome!
M: You know… that team has more championships than the Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots COMBINED. Where is the love, huh?
S: Look, I know. I can’t find it in me to watch the sport. No hating on the Celts, I’m proud of them and everything, it’s the sport in GENERAL.
M: You don’t have to watch it, you just have to tolerate me mentioning it at tea time.
S: I never said it wasn’t. Anyways, continue! I am very tolerant! I like listening! I just can’t contribute. You know this.
M: Anyway, the Celtics have gone 5-1 in the preseason thus far, KG and his knee are looking really solid, and the Cavaliers have been decimated by H1N1 flu. So I’m excited.
S: Haha, Cavs.
M: Seriously. Well, I think that’s it. You have anything else?
S: Nah, think I’m good for now. I missed teatime, dude. Let’s not skip any more weeks.
M: I know. Well lets not have any more sports-induced clinical depression, too. Although, being from Boston, it’s hard to see how that’s possible. It’s kind of… how we roll.
S: Yeah. Tougher still when people are constantly jobbing you. Life, man.
[In a demonstration of PERFECT cosmic timing, my computer crashed here and tea time came to an abrupt end. Excellent work, universe.]
A HEARTY “GOOD ON YA” TO…
The Entire Patriots Roster and Coaching Staff— Okay, really, everyone involved in that whole organization. Thanks for a great Sunday. We needed that.
The 2009 Red Sox— Because no matter how the season ends, you’re our boys, and we love you.
Rajon Rondo— Pleaded with Doc Rivers to keep him in a preseason game because he wanted to win. With Garnett, Pierce and Allen on the bench, he brought the Celtics back from a 14-point deficit to win against the New Jersey Nets 91-88. In this game, he nearly scored a triple-double. Thumbs up, kiddo. I like the fight in ya.
Kevin Garnett— All he wants to do is play. Also, in an interview with Peter May of Yahoo! Sports, KG said the following: “I’d do anything for Doc and he knows that. I’d run through a brick wall if he wants me to.” Character matters on this team.
Phoenix Coyotes fans— Yeah, so they’re kinda (okay, really) weird, but they were super nice to Sarah when she went to the game last weekend. Thanks for your hospitality. And, um… sorry about the whole… yeah.
SMACKS UPSIDE THE HEAD TO…
The Bruins— For the second Tea Time in a row. Quit with the back and forth. If you’re going to suck, suck. We’ll get over it. Lord knows we have before. If you’re going to be good like we know you can be, feel free to get off your asses any time.
Jonathan Papelbon— Because we need to blame someone? and… um… you’re it, I guess. Sorry, man.
Montreal Canadiens— Once again, I don’t need a reason, but Sarah points out that they’re the only team thus far to have played the Leafs and not beat them in regulation. Thumbs up. And while we’re on the subject…
Toronto Maple Leafs— Wow, guys.
The New York Yankees and LA Angels— For being the Yankees and not beating the ever-loving pulp out of the Yankees, respectively.
The New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills— Competitions to see who can suck the worst do not good television make.
Photos courtesy of AP Photo/Winslow Townson, Getty Images/Elsa, unknown, AP Photo