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Buckle up

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff December 25, 2008 05:59 AM

When we here at OT ponder the possibilities in the year to come for the four major Boston sports teams (sorry Revo), we often find outselves coming back to the wisdom of that great modern-day orator Kevin Maurice Garnett:


Preach on, Brother KG, because we know you speak the truth. Just take a look around the local scene for confirmation: The Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins will, barring catastrophe, all be legitimate championship contenders in 2009. If that doesn’t make you giddy and appreciative about your good fortune as a Boston fan, well, I guess you must be hopelessly spoiled.

Of course, besides victory piled on top of victory, countless other happenings big and small are “possibulll!!!” in the sports year to come. So let’s take a peek into our crystal ball, which, we must warn you, has been known to go on the fritz …

Jan. 21: The Celtics defeat the Heat in Miami, 131-100, to improve to 42-2. It is their 34th consecutive victory, surpassing the previous mark of 33 straight set by the legendary 1972-73 Los Angeles Lakers. The remarkable Rajon Rondo leads the Celtics with a career-high 33 points despite not attempting a field goal from outside of five feet.

Feb. 2: After knocking off the Ravens, Steelers, and Colts in succession to claim an improbable AFC title, the Patriots find themselves in a rematch with the heavily favored Giants in Super Bowl XLIII. Trailing, 14-10, with 1:15 remaining in the game, Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel drops back, barely eludes a swarming pass rush, and heaves an arcing prayer of a pass toward the middle of the field. The football slips through tight end Benjamin Watson’s hands … but, miraculously, sticks in his face mask as Giants safety Kenny Phillips futilely tries to jar it loose. Four plays later, Cassel finds Randy Moss in the left corner of the end zone for the winning touchdown. “Redemption,” Moss says afterward. In the postgame delirium, coach Bill Belichick flips the game ball to Watson. He juggles the pigskin briefly, bats it into the air, then flails as it drops harmlessly to the locker room floor.

Feb. 13: The Detroit Lions name Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels head coach. At his introductory press conference, he confirms he had a better offer from a certain other team. “Yeah, the Jets offered more money,” McDaniels says. “They begged, actually. It was sort of pathetic — lots of sniveling by some old guy who called himself Woody Johnson. … Right, Gramps — I know a stage name when I hear one. But I couldn’t do that to Bill after all he’s done for me. Whaddaya think, I’m a rat or something?”

March 7: Curt Schilling shutters his blog after realizing that sharing an opinion isn’t nearly as much fun when you don’t get to hear the sound of your own voice.

April 6: Opening Day at Fenway. Red Sox vs. the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays. With the Sox trailing in a gem of a game, 2-0, and two out in the ninth, David Ortiz connects with a J.P. Howell curveball. One joyous and slow home-run trot later, the Red Sox have a 3-2 victory. New England exhales. All is right with the world.

April 16: Manny Ramirez, thrilled to finally be a New York Yankee after all those miserable well-paid years with the enemy, shows up for the home opener against Cleveland nine hours before the first pitch. Unfortunately, he shows up at the old Yankee Stadium. While Manny waits patiently and wonders why there’s such a ruckus at the next building over, Brett Gardner goes 1 for 4 in his place in the Yankees’ 3-2 loss.

May 4: The Red Sox confirm that J.D. Drew is out of the lineup indefinitely. Itchy mosquito bite.

June 4: Patrice Bergeron checks Joe Thornton to the ice, swipes the puck, and pots the winning goal a little more than two minutes into overtime, helping the Bruins defeat the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, 3-2, to secure their first championship since 1971-72. Sadly, a few days after the victory, the beloved Cup goes missing. The Globe Spotlight team later discovers that owner Jeremy Jacobs was the culprit. He turned the beloved trophy into scrap metal, which he gleefully hocked on eBay for $1.27.

June 12: The Celtics defeat the Lakers, 130-77, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals to win their second straight NBA championship and 18th overall. They finish the postseason 16-1 after a 76-6 regular season, and every pundit but Skip Bayless agrees that they are the greatest team in league history. But the postgame celebration is marred by tragedy when Kevin Garnett, overcome by the magnitude of the moment, hollers, “I told you guys this last year. ANYTHING IS POSSIBUULLLL!!!!,” then spontaneously combusts. Danny Ainge immediately trades what’s left of him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Al Jefferson and four future No.1 picks.

July 4: The Red Sox confirm that J.D. Drew is out of the lineup indefinitely. Burned his pinkie on a sparkler.

July 30: While Jason Varitek runs out a double-play grounder in the fourth inning of an 8-4 win over Oakland, the .139 hitter’s left foot falls off. Agent Scott Boras immediately issues a 273-page treatise on the scarcity and value of catchers who suffer from rigor mortis and demands that the Red Sox renegotiate Varitek’s one-year, $5 million deal.

Aug. 22: The Red Sox confirm that J.D. Drew is out of the lineup indefinitely. Dislocated nose hair.

Sept. 6: On his first official passing attempt since Bernard Pollard’s rude introduction 364 days earlier, Tom Brady connects with Randy Moss for a picturesque 77-yard touchdown. New England exhales. All is right with the world.

Sept. 27: The day after the Red Sox clinch the American League East title, Jonathan Papelbon emerges from the bullpen in the ninth inning wearing a Heineken Draught Keg in place of a hat and no pants to speak of. No one in attendance gives it a second thought.

Oct. 1: Terry Francona’s latest attempt to keep his circulation problems in check and stay warm in the dugout is confiscated in the middle of a meaningless 3-2 victory over the Indians by MLB vice president for discipline Bob Watson’s goons. “I do not understand,” a shivering and frustrated Francona says later, “why a red Snuggie cannot be considered part of the uniform.”

Oct. 16: After missing all but 42 games of the regular season due to various ailments, J.D. Drew wallops a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam off the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera as the Red Sox clinch the pennant with a 6-5 victory in Game 5 of the ALCS. “I’ll never figure J.D. out,” Francona muses afterward. “But he sure is one bloodless SOB in the clutch.” Sadly, during his home-run trot, Drew stubs the “little piggy who went to market” and misses the remainder of the postseason.

Oct. 28: Mike Lowell wins the World Series MVP award for the second time in three seasons as the Sox complete a four-game sweep of the worst-to-first Pittsburgh Pirates with a 9-2 victory. “Sometimes good things happen to good people,” Francona says of his selfless third baseman. In a related note, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira undergoes successful reconstructive foot surgery after he shatters 16 bones when he dropped his wallet on it.

Dec. 25: The Celtics pummel the Lakers for the second straight year on Christmas Day, this time by a 149-62 score. Assistant coach Kurt Rambis leads the Lakers in scoring with nine points, having checked himself into the lineup after Phil Jackson headed up to Jeannie Buss’ suite to “meditate” at halftime and never returned. The victory is the final gift in yet another truly blessed year for the Boston sports fan.

OT columnist Chad Finn is a sports reporter for Boston.com and can be reached at finn@globe.com

11 comments so far...
  1. There were some literal laugh-out-loud moments in this article.
    Well played, sir...well played.

    Posted by Very amuzed December 25, 08 07:14 PM
  1. Dislocated nose hair takes the prize, bravo....

    Posted by oilcan December 26, 08 07:08 AM
  1. i can actually see the whole ben watson sequence happening. i'm sort of embarrassed by how much i enjoyed this.

    Posted by jc December 26, 08 02:42 PM
  1. May the October 28th prediction come to pass.

    ALL of it....

    Posted by StartedIn67 December 26, 08 05:33 PM
  1. I needed a good laugh today, thanks!

    Posted by Debbie December 28, 08 06:22 PM
  1. Careful - I cannot laugh too loud - I'm at work!!!

    Posted by Rupert December 29, 08 01:31 PM
  1. Here is to the June 4th one coming true. But makes sure that Jacobs does not sell the cup before we have our long awaited Parade to Celebrate

    Posted by marina December 30, 08 11:36 AM
  1. Hilarious bro!
    Posted by Captain Roy

    Posted by Captain Roy January 1, 09 10:34 AM
  1. That was a riot. I see I'm not the only one who contemplates what new and wondrous ways that J.D. can hurt himself. I wonder...how much range would J.D. lose in the outfield if the Sox wrapped him in bubble wrap?

    Posted by Jim Gill January 2, 09 10:58 AM
  1. sad what some call humor...

    Posted by jason January 2, 09 12:03 PM
  1. that was hilarious.

    Posted by Perry January 4, 09 09:03 PM
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Charles P. Pierce writes for the Boston Globe Magazine. A long-time sportswriter and columnist, Pierce is a frequent guest on national TV and radio.
Tony Massarotti is a Boston Globe sportswriter and has been writing about sports in Boston for the last 19 years. He is currently spotlighted as a featured columnist on Boston.com.
Tom Caron serves as studio host for NESN's Boston Red Sox coverage.
Bob Lobel was a WBZ-TV sportscaster for 29 years, anchoring more than 10,000 sports reports.
Chad Finn is a sports reporter at the Globe and founder of the Touching All The Bases blog. Before joining the Globe, he was an award winning columnist at the Concord Monitor.

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