Canton Sports Guy: Win ’em for Farrell

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You’d be hard pressed to find someone who has anything positive to say about suffering a hernia. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has anything not extremely negative to say about suffering a hernia. However, a hernia may have saved John Farrell’s life. It was during a routine procedure to mend said hernia when doctors found out that Farrell had stage one lymphoma. He has since stepped away as manager of the sinking ship Red Sox to deal with his health issues — and the strangest thing has happened — the Sox are playing good baseball again.

Without getting caught up in the clichés of winning one for the Gipper, or giving the game ball to Pic, there’s absolutely something to be said about the way the Red Sox have been playing since Farrell has had to step down. In two games against the Mariners, the Sox won by a combined score of 37-11. Could it all just be a giant coincidence? Sure. Could the streak be over by the time this article is published? Probably. But in all the boundless amounts of statistical analysis and numerical trends, I think the social aspect of the game can get lost.

Sure, it’s not a “job” like you and I know, but baseball players are working a job. If you like your coworkers and you mesh as a cohesive unit more often than not, you’re going to perform better at your job. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring everyone closer and refocus on the big picture. Okay, the big picture for the Red Sox was stolen from the postseason museum a while ago, but it’s refreshing to see the Sox play good baseball again. Again, how long that trend will continue, I’m not sure. The only matchup that truly matters for the rest of the season is John Farrell versus cancer — and Red Sox Nation’s thoughts and prayers are with him. Good luck, John.

The theme of schadenfreude is nothing new in my articles. I can’t recall if in the past I found taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others a natural human response or a deplorable character flaw — it honestly depends on how I was feeling that day — but today I rule that it is a natural human response, and a very enjoyable one at that.

Remember a few weeks ago when Jets fans rallied together to fly a banner over the Patriots practice that read “Cheaters Look Up?” I do. Every Dick, Tom, and Harry I work with in Colorado was quick to send me the link. (I work with a lot of the former). “See it’s funny. Because the Patriots cheat. Get it?”

Cheap laughs were had, although the Patriots tend to fly banners that actually matter, like ones that commemorate winning a Super Bowl championship. Watching the Jets over the past decade or so has been really, really entertaining. They’re not just bad; they’re laughably bad. So when their fan base takes cheap jabs at such a successful organization like the Patriots, it isn’t so much upsetting as it is annoying. A few mosquitos don’t ruin an amazing camping trip; you can swat them and move on. In this case, a fellow mosquito swatted the top bug in New York.

“New York Jets quarterback sidelined 6-10 weeks” was the alert I got on my phone. I figured maybe Geno Smith went down with some sort of injury in practice or workouts. No, he was punched in the face by a teammate in the locker room …

WHAT?!

I literally couldn’t believe what I was reading. At the time the reason for the punch was unknown: all we knew was that linebacker IK Enemkpali (say that five times fast) had sucker punched Smith after some sort of altercation. It is now being reported the reason for the hit was over a plane ticket Smith never paid Enemkpali for. Smith was supposed to attend a camp put on by IK, but no-showed. There have been reports that Geno was attending a funeral. There have been reports that say that’s untrue. The reasoning shouldn’t matter, and is really just the border of the bigger picture: How much turmoil does there have to be in a locker room for a grown man making hundreds of thousands of dollars to (allegedly) sucker punch a teammate over $600?

Apparently, a lot. Can you imagine this sort of thing happening in New England? Of course not. Not on Bill Belichick’s watch. Not to mention the man who sucker punched Tom Brady would have to hide from Patriots fans for the rest of his life. The man who sucker punches Geno Smith? Well, he gets picked up by ex-Jets coach and current Buffalo Bills leader Rex Ryan. You can’t make up this sort of drama. It’s honestly better than daytime TV.

What this all makes me realize is how good we have it here in New England — even in the midst of this “deflategate” nonsense. Even the judge wants Goodell and the Patriots to work things out, encouraging them to talk outside of the hearings. That went about as well as expected: Goodell wants Brady to admit guilt. Brady won’t. It’s going to come down to the judge’s verdict, which must come before week 1.

As I mentioned before, the shame of the entire thing is that the league appears to be actively participating in smearing Tom Brady’s reputation. If Brady wins the appeal, he is still a cheater in a lot of people’s eyes. If he loses, then people will really harp on how much a cheater he is, and continue the outrageous demands of vacating all Patriots championships and other nonsense.

None of that matters. We’re on to Pittsburgh. Whether it’s Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo calling the plays remains unseen; but hey, at least they won’t be doing it through a jaw that’s been wired shut.

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avatar Posted by on Aug 21 2015. Filed under Sports.
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