So it turned out to be the marquee matchup after all. Red Sox and Dodgers. Boston and L.A.
I remember when I worked all those classic Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals in the 80’s, the chant in Boston Garden was “Beat L.A”.
They’re doing it again in Beantown, but now it’s about the Dodgers, who are playing in back-to-back World Series for the first time in 40 years.
The Celtics-Lakers rivalry was fierce, and memorable. But there’s really no history between the baseball teams who are meeting for the first time since 1916.
You all remember that Fall Classic, I’m sure.
Well. even I don’t recall that one.
The Dodgers were in Brooklyn, and were known as the Robins.
They played at Ebbets Field and the Red Sox played at Braves Field, which was larger than Fenway Park.
This will be the first time the Dodgers will have played at Fenway Park in October.
The highlight of that 1916 Series? Babe Ruth, then with the Red Sox before he was traded to the Yankees, threw a 14-inning compete game in a 2-1 Boston victory in Game 2.
Yes, Babe Ruth was a pitcher before he was the home run king for so many seasons. In fact, the Babe won 23 games that season, nine by shutout.
You don’t see much of that today: 23-game winners, complete games, and shutouts.
Ruth’s Red Sox beat the Robins 4 games to 1.
You get the feeling it’ll be Alabama against Clemson for the National Championship? I do.
Look who’s a top contender after Alabama? That’s right, the Clemson Tigers. The Crimson Tide just keep rolling over everybody. The fewest points they’ve scored in a game is 39.
There are only two challenges on the schedule for the Tide. The last regular season game against Auburn at home always lives up to it’s great rivalry.
But the real test will come November 3rd, when Alabama faces LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are currently among the top four in the nation, but Nick Saban, who won a national championship at LSU before trying his hand with the NFL Dolphins enroute to ‘Bama, saves his best for the games people think he might lose. We’ll see.
Clemson. which split with Alabama in the 2016 and 2017 title battles, has only their upcoming contest with Florida State, standing in their way of an unbeaten regular season.
I know, the romantics out there will be praying for a Notre Dame showing in the ultimate game, but I see Clemson. Again, we will all see.
Obviously from another planet, this second-year quarterback has been nothing short of phenomenal. He has led the Kansas City Chiefs to victories in every game, but one.
That loss to the Patriots could very well have the Chiefs playing for a re-match against New England in the playoffs. Mahomes is playing like a 10-year vet. The one area he has lacked is his ability to run, but he showed in last Sunday night’s 45-10 thrashing of the Bengals, he can use his legs too, as he put it, “as long as I lift my knees.”
Remember how KC obtained Mahomes. The Chiefs traded up over the New Orleans Saints to draft him in the first round. How smart. The Saints would have jumped on Mahomes as a successor to the fabulous Drew Brees, but Kansas City beat them to the punch. It didn’t take long for KC to realize Mahomes was their future, thus they were able to trade Alex Smith to the Redskins.
Remember the three teams who traded up in last year’s draft to grab quarterbacks. The Bears leaped over the 49ers for Mitchell Trubisky, the Chiefs traded up for Mahomes, and the Houston Texans grabbed DeShaun Watson after a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. Trubisky, in my humble opinion, is headed for great things. In fact all of the young quarterback pups in both last year’s draft and this year’s as well, will develop into franchise QB’s quickly.
You have WHAT game?
When folks ask me what NFL game I’m broadcasting coming up, they react by nodding their approval if it’s a good matchup, or they remark that’s a so-so game, or they shake their head in disbelief and frown, telling me I have a dog of a game ahead of me.
This week I’m headed to Arizona for the big rematch between the 49ers and the Cardinals. That’s right. Two of the lowest ranked teams in the league. Both are 1-6. Both are loaded with major problems. Both have hardly a chance of finishing .500, much less contending for a playoff berth. They express sorrow for my plight and actually think I will be suffering come the weekend.
It’s the farthest thing from the truth.
In reality I look forward to the game for many reasons.
First of all, every game has meaning of some kind. Maybe, not nationally, but for the teams, and their fans it’s really everything.
When I was growing up, I was a New York Giants fan. I lived and died with them. Now, this was before they became a league power. In the early to mid-fifties they were average at best.
When my Giants were 3-7, and playing a game against the Redskins, I rooted for them to be 4-7. I was a happy kid when they won, not so much when they lost.
As a young fan they won their first title in 1956.
When we do broadcasts, we know the fans of the teams and cities involved are a captive audience. They could care less about the Patriots and Chiefs, or the Eagles and Vikings.
The other factor is that the players work all week to try to win the game. They go through meetings and practices for one purpose: to win Sunday’s game.
If anyone thinks players don’t try, they are dead wrong.
Everything a player does is on tape for every coach, General Manager and personnel director in the league to see.
Don’t try? Don’t care?
See how long you last.
The last point, as far as the 49ers and Cardinals are concerned is this: if there’s one game each team really thinks it can win, it’s this one.
I also broadcast the first meeting between the teams on the 49ers home turf. The Cardinal prevailed, although the 49ers actually were the dominant team.
So, we’ll see how the rematch goes. Believe me, it’ll be hotly contested, even though it has no playoff ramifications.
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