I’ve been pondering various questions regarding the Big Four Boston teams—Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics. That’s one of the great things about sports. You can contemplate every “what if” in the world and although it won’t change a darn thing and you’ll never come up with an answer, it makes for some interesting water cooler, bar room or dinnertime talk. Some of these questions have to do with the here and now, others with the past and still others with the future. (This is what happens when you have too much time on your hands.) So, let’s consider, ruminate and contemplate. This is a two-part blog. The first part has to do with the Red Sox and Patriots.
Where Would Our Sox Be?
What if Theo Epstein stayed on and Terry Francona was still manager? Would the Red Sox be losing to the hapless Chicago Cubs? Would they still be playing as inconsistently as they are now? (The only thing that seems to be consistent about them is their inconsistency.) I guess it was time to fold the cards on Epstein and Francona, and I think in the long run both of those guys, who did a lot for the franchise, will both be better off. But the transition to the new era has been less than seamless for the Red Sox and at this point no one is sending these guys any Valentines.
How Good Will Ras-I Dowling Be?
Ras-I Dowling is the Patriots’ new corner back. Dowling, who played at Virginia, is back for his second season with the New England Patriots. Well, it may be season two for him, but it’s more like season one. That’s because in 2011 he missed most of his first year due to a leg injury. He also missed most of his senior year at Virginia due to leg problems. In the past two seasons, his final college and first NFL, he’s started a total of four out of 28 games. Dowling is known as being an exceptionally smart player with some good skills. He could be key to a Patriot defense that was burned by the pass more times than not last season. But can he remain healthy? If he can’t maintain his health, then he won’t be any good at all. Time will tell.
What Will Happen?
When will the Red Sox make the transition from the old days of Epstein and Francona to the new days of Cherington and Valentine? Or maybe the real question is will they make the transition? And as for Ras-I Dowling, can he stay healthy and be effective in bringing together what has been a porous secondary? He needs to step up if the Patriots are to have any hope at winning a fourth Super Bowl.
In my next blog, I consider Tin Thomas and the Bruins and The Big Three II and the Celtics. Until then, go Sox!