I thought that my pride as a New England sports’ fan had hit rock-bottom on Sunday night when James Taylor’s hokey and embarrassingly bad new song “Angels of Fenway” premiered in front of a national audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
“Great,” I remember telling my cat, who was the only one in my house willing to stay up with me and watch the Red Sox lose to the Yankees, yet another indignity. “Now the entire country is going to think we’re a bunch of sap-bag, Pink Hat sentimentalists who buy bullshit like this James Taylor word-vomit,” I said.
(I didn’t really say that to my cat verbatim, but it was something like that.)
Then, as the night wore on, the Sox were finally swept after their humiliating corp of “Five Aces” continued to add to their ignonimous resume with another gag-job (Joe Kelly) who wouldn’t make it five innings. And I don’t care if it is September or May, watching the Red Sox get swept by the Yankees is always a kick the gonads.
Add to that, the fact that A-Rod tied Willie Mays’ for fourth place of the All-time HR list on Friday night with what turned out to be the game-winning RBI. Watching A-Rod smile hurts enough, but watching A-Rod reach milestones while beating the Red Sox is equivalent to Chinese Water Torture.
Not to mention, in the weeks preceding these misadventures, the Bruins choked and missed the playoffs, the Celtics got swept by the Cavs and, worst of all, a former Patriots All-Pro was convicted by a jury of his peers for killing a dude! A man that we used to cheer is a murderer.
The most recent disgrace, however, came with the publication of the Wells Report, a 243-page investigation ordered by Mssr. Roger Goodell and the NFL regarding the notorious Deflate-gate scandal following the Patriots 45-7 win over Indianapolis in the AFC Championship game.
Unless you were either in a coma or vacationing in a cave in Afghanistan for the past four months, you are familiar with said scandal so I won’t bother to rehash the sordid details. The results of this investigation, however, were quite damning and potentially damaging to the legacy of quarterback Tom Brady, aka the East Coast’s Jesus Christ.
Like many men in New England, I worship Tom Brady as a demigod. Here is an incredibly good-looking and immensely successful NFL quarterback who ostensibly possesses everything a man of limited intelligence, like me, would want to possess: the sultry leers of beautiful women and the respect of other men.
So reading these accusations, the evidence presented in that report (although, admittedly, I skimmed the juicy details and left the rest for the “real” journalists to read) and measuring it against my respect for Tom Brady, I’ll be honest, the report stunned and disappointed me.
The consensus from the Patriots’ camp will be valid but predictable. They’re going to wax semantics and say that “probable” does not mean “definite.” And they’re right. But I think you’d have to be deliberately dense to think Tom didn’t know what was going on with those footballs, and he wasn’t orchestrating the whole thing.
And The Patriots camp will say that every quarterback in the NFL does the exact same thing, and they’re probably right. Unfortunately, Tom Brady got caught.
The Patriots’ camp will claim that this was a witch hunt to take down Tom Brady. Maybe. But, sadly, it was a successful witch hunt. Brady may forever wear the same scarlet C that many MLB stars (Bonds and Sosa and Maguire and Clemens and Palmiero) post with their legacies.
There’s a Flogging Molly song titled “The Worst Day Since Yesterday,” and I really wish they’d start playing this in the middle of the eighth-inning instead of the Pink Hat’s “Sweet Caroline.” The Flogging Molly song feels more indicative of the general mood in New England sports right now.
But what do I know? I talk to my cat.