A send off for the Boston Red Sox, baseball’s World Champions.
They may be the best team ever, winning 108 games in the regular season, and 11 more in the post season losing only three times.
They won the deciding game in each of their playoff victories on the road, including five game vanquishing of the Dodgers in the World Series.
The only game they lost against L.A. was an 18 inning marathon in game three.
On to the sport I cover, the NFL, now at the halfway point.
Remember all the noise concerning kneeling during the anthem, leading with the helmet when making a tackle, and excess roughing the passer calls?
That stuff has gone with the wind.
What’s getting attention are the first year boys. Coaches and quarterbacks.
Let’s discuss a few.
Jon Gruden went from the ESPN Monday Night booth to the Raiders sideline.
As of this writing he’s won only one game. He complained about not having a pass rusher as he traded Khalil Mack, one of the best, to the Bears.
He also dealt wide receiver Jamari Cooper to the Cowboys.
Most people felt the Cowboys paid too much for Cooper.
The NFL trading deadline was this week so more deals were expected to be made by Gruden, and other teams.
I get the picture.
The Raiders are moving into a new stadium in Las Vegas in two years.
Gruden has a 10 year contract.
He doesn’t think he has a playoff or championship caliber team.
He’s piling up high draft picks by the dozen. He’s building his kind of team.
He doesn’t care about Oakland. He’s looking to Vegas.
I think he’s doing the right thing.
I also think Matt Nagy is building a dominant team in Chicago. He’s a winner.
Matt Patricia, the former Patriots defensive coordinator, is changing the culture in Detroit. He too, will be successful.
I’m thinking the other way about Pat Shurmur with the Giants.
Steve Wilks, out in Arizona, might have saved his hide by installing Byron Leftwich as the new play-caller.
I know it saved Josh Rosen, one of the many rookie first-year quarterbacks, who all look like they will be winners.
That doesn’t mean they won’t look dreadful at times, but they all appear to have the ability to lead their teams to the playoffs and division titles at the very least.
There was a time rookie QB’s needed three to five years to be ready.
No longer. Now you draft them, play them and sooner than later, win with them.
I’ve had a chance to get to know Josh Rosen, a little.
Before the draft, the “experts” were saying he wasn’t a solid prospect because he was kind of a wise guy. A smart aleck, who would turn off teammates.
They were right about one thing. He’s smart.
He has the rare combination of a decisive leader as well as a sense of humor.
Several of his Cardinals teammates have revealed he will say something funny in the huddle at the rarest of times making them laugh.
His new play caller, Byron Leftwich, who played a few years as a backup quarterback in Pittsburgh, says his instincts are not unlike Steeler great Ben Roethlisberger.
Josh Rosen and Byron Leftwich
Now, that’s saying a lot.
I’m not putting Josh Rosen in the Hall of Fame, just delving into some of the on-the-field qualities he seems to have.
Last Sunday, he did what all franchise quarterbacks do. He led his team down the field for the winning touchdown in the waning minutes.
In fact, the Cardinals trailed 15-3 to the equally hungry 49ers, before Rosen led the 18-15 comeback. It was only his second winning game. Believe me, they’ll be plenty more.
Josh Rosen’s story is unusual.
He started playing football at a young age, as most good ones do, but gave up the game to play tennis. Eventually he went back to football because he considered himself more of a team sports guy.
He never did abandon tennis and this past summer, attended the Wimbledon championships to watch his friend, Taylor Fritz compete. Fritz is an American singles hopeful.
He is not afraid to admit that he constantly talks to himself.
He is loose and easy-going. Even at the age of 21, in the midst of the pressure-packed world of professional football.
His full name is Joshua Ballinger Lippincott Rosen. That’s right.
His father, Charles, nearly qualified for the Winter Olympics as a figure skater in the 70’s.
His mother, Liz, is a former journalist.
The new quarterback of the Cardinals is the great, great, great grandson of Joseph Wharton, an industrialist, and the namesake of the famed Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.
Interesting tale about one of the current crop of rookie signal callers.
Lamar Jackson is sitting behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore.
But the others: Mayfield, Darnold, even Allen, stuck on a mediocre Bills team, have the goods.
As does Josh Rosen. One smart guy.
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