Red Sox, Patriots Spreading Early Holiday Cheer Throughout New England

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Red Sox, Patriots Spreading Early Holiday Cheer Throughout New England How do you follow up the sports week that was in New England? 

Even the magic of the holiday season might have met its supreme challenge — and this is coming from the ultimate fan of all holiday festivities. But unless Santa is dropping off a book of 2011 Red Sox season tickets and throwing in a trip to Jerry Jones’ house down in Dallas for the Super Bowl, it’s going to be a tough week to top.

The week began with rumors abounding. Not new possibilities, just revitalized ones once again linking Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox. The deal went from done, to falling apart, to back in play. Gonzalez admitted as much when he told  Don Orsillo he almost boarded a plane to leave Boston over the weekend. Instead, he was officially introduced by the Red Sox on Monday. Theo Epstein’s long-coveted first baseman was no longer a dream, but a reality.

If Monday morning’s Fenway news conference didn’t create enough buzz for you, then there was must-watch TV later that night. 

Let’s be realistic. Most of us hadn’t even scratched the surface of all the A-Gone talk when we settled in for an AFC East matchup that had been hyped to historic proportions. And for good reason. It was only the sixth time in the history of Monday Night Football that a 5-0 road team would take on a 5-0 home team. Two 9-2 teams ready to duke it out for the top spot in the conference. Oh yeah, and this was Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan. The tight-lipped, play-it-close-to-the-vest legend against the “not here to kiss [your] rings,” brash-talking counterpart.

That speaking-his-mind thing even applied after the game went final, 45-3.

I don’t care how many days it has been and that the Patriots have moved on (and, yes, they must), but for me, it’s worth repeating. 

Forty-five to three.

Mark Sanchez threw three picks. The Jets never got in the endzone. But they couldn’t keep the Pats out of their own. Tom Brady racked up nearly 400 yards. He has 17 touchdown passes and hasn’t thrown an interception in his last seven games.

Days after this one, Braylon Edwards remarked, “I don’t want to say they ran it up, but at the end of the day, they ran it up.”

Funny, his comments just don’t hold up. Not given all the talk by the Jets before this one. How’s the saying go: “if you’re going to dish it, you better be able to take it.” Too bad for the Jets, on this particular Monday night, the Patriots did all their talking on the field.

But, as mentioned, the Patriots have moved on. Brady made that clear when he said Wednesday that, “it was a good win on Monday night, but it doesn’t do anything for us. It doesn’t do anything this week.” 

He’s right. 

So we’ll do the same. Although this Sunday’s showdown in Chicago does have the makings of a tough game: A short week, a tough team, an unfamiliar place (the Pats last traveled there in 2002) and a 9-3 Chicago team that’s played well at home.

But, the week being what it has, blockbuster news almost had to happen between late Monday night and the following Sunday. What’s the old phrase? Things happen in threes. 

From Baseball’s winter meetings in Orlando, the Red Sox made sure that was the case. Late Wednesday night the rumblings of a 24-hour news cycle cranked up. By the time you woke up Thursday (as a Red Sox fan, at least), the morning might have resembled some of the best from your childhood. Only this present won’t be found under any tree. Instead, you’ll find it roaming the Fenway outfield.

Carl Crawford and Boston have agreed to terms on a seven-year, $142 million dollar deal, pending a physical. Terry Francona called the speedster a “game changer” earlier in the week. And, to borrow the term, the Red Sox have proven themselves to be “game changers” this offseason. 

So, now that you’ve caught your breath, might I ask — what’s next week bring?

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