Hurricane Earl Just Part of Season-Changing Weekend in Boston

Hurricane Earl Just Part of Season-Changing Weekend in Boston The heart of hurricane season is upon us, according to the meteorologists. Last weekend, it had millions of people recalling the sheer power and unimaginable aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This week, those of us in New England are looking ahead, with Earl bearing down on the Cape and Islands.

Hurricanes, as I have seen with my own eyes while covering both Ivan and Katrina, bring change. Sometimes big; sometimes small. Hopefully, it will be the latter with Earl's recent weakening, but even as the high winds and rain approach, a change in season is already settling in.

The regular season of America's most-watched pastime — no not the original but the fall variety — stands only a week away. Amidst a plethora of questions, the Patriots will soon host the Bengals in the home opener. Will Tom Brady have a new contract? How will the offensive line hold up? Will the younger-by-the-day defense deliver? Even the final preseason game brought change: Starters took the field against the Giants. Brady hadn't seen a snap in the previous six preseason finales.

While we may be waiting a week for the start of the NFL season, you can still get your football fix while dodging Earl's raindrops. Maybe it will be at the annual fantasy draft you've been studying up for, or, perhaps you're settling in for some college action. Regardless of minutes played, it will be a great success to see Mark Herzlich back on the field for Boston College. And, in my house, Joe Paterno's press conferences, whether he's wearing those coke bottle glasses or not, are always something to look forward to. (You gotta admit, the 83-year-old coach is humorous.)

College football marks a definite shift … and an almost-constant stream of emails. But that's half the fun, right?

Along with Earl, some big events have blown into the area this weekend. Over at the TPC Boston, the Deutsche Bank Championship is happy to have Tiger Woods in town, although you can bet they hope Earl's impact is minimal.

I had a chance to talk with Tim Petrovic earlier this week. He's played in every Norton tournament since its start in 2003. It's a fun event for the Northampton, Mass., native — not too far from home. And, he told me, one of the best parts of it is getting a glimpse of the Sox.

Ahh, the Sox. Have you heard who's coming to town? Yes, Earl, as I have pointed out, but another tumultuous figure will be at Fenway in the form of Manny Ramirez. Don't you just love the timing? Manny and his new Chicago White Sox teammates will be in Boston for a three-game set starting Friday night (well, maybe Friday night). It could be Earl stealing this show.

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