In 1967 the Boston Red Sox lived the ‘Impossible Dream’, going from last to first in one season. 40 years later, the Sox made a Possible Dream come true; fielding a solid team and winning the World Series. With many New England sports teams looking good this season, can they all make their "Possible Dreams" come true?

 

Friday, November 2, 2007

#2 Ranked BC Eagles Will Face Weather Again

Anyone who watched last Thursday's BC/Virginia Tech game saw that the fiercest opponent at Lane Stadium was the weather. The first quarter punt festival tested the QB skills of both Matt Ryan and Sean Glennon, as neither of them were able to get much of a grip on the ball. Glennon would shape up enough to help put 10 points on the board for Tech, but Matt Ryan's 2 minute drill miracle ensured a victory for BC.

This Saturday, BC will face the elements again. The remnants of Hurricane Noel will be passing through New England tomorrow night. In the Caribbean, Noel killed about 115 people. Thankfully, all he brings to the Northeast is 6 inches of rain (possibly turning to sleet, then snow), sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph, and gusts up to 60 mph. Ryan and company may also have to deal with game-time temperatures around 40 degrees, that may dip to as low as 30 before the game is finished. The Eagles are going to have to deal with even worse weather than last week if they want to defend their title hopes and #2 ranking.

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Brady/Manning Bowl v10.0

Currently, Tom's leading the career matchup 6-3... but Peyton's walked away with the last three wins, including the AFC Championship game last season. Try and wrap your head around this game: the teams are a combined 15-0. Both are helmed by Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks who have defeated every other team in football at least once. Both teams average over 32 points a game (Indy about 32, NE about 41). Both teams allow an average of 16 points a game.

Across the entire season, the quarterbacks were sacked a combined 13 times (one more than Donovan McNabb was sacked in a single game). Brady has thrown more TD's in 8 games than he did in the best entire season of his career. Both teams succeeded without their starting running backs. The Pats are the face of dominance, the Colts are a model for efficiency. This leaves one more mind bender:

The Patriots are 5.5 point favorites over an undefeated team that has the 2nd best record in the entire NFL. Sunday is going to be quite a show.

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Big Three Debut Tonight, Arenas Talks Big

Tonight is the debut of Boston's new Big Three. Pierce, Garnett, and Allen will share the parquet for the first time in a regular season game against the Washington Wizards at the Garden. The trio has looked solid so far in preseason play, seemingly building team chemistry in the short time that they have been teammates. However, Wizards PG Gilbert arenas has guaranteed that the game will result in an L for the Green.

So anyway, since everybody is back on the Boston bandwagon it brought back old memories. So listen here. On November 2nd, we're going to go into that building, we're opening up Boston. Right now I'm telling the Boston fans: You guys are going to lose. It's not going to be a victory for Boston. You might as well just cheer for me, because Boston isn't winning in Boston for the season opener. I'm sorry.

Gilbert is still smarting from being called "immature" by then-Celtics-coach Jim O'Brien for not showing up to a two-day workout before the 2001 draft. When he's not cheating at Halo 3, AgentArenas is providing bulletin board material on his reportedly ghost-written blog. Let him rile up the C's, it should make for a good show at the Garden tonight.

Editor's Note: To be fair, Gilbert's rank of 46 in Halo means that he can legitimately beat you, everyone you've ever known, and about 95% of any people who've played the game... fair and square.

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New England Revolution Get First Trophy, Looking Towards Championship

The New England Revolution seem to have a Buffalo Bills-eqsue issue with the MLS Championship game. They can certainly make it to the big game, but they never won a trophy.

Until 2007.

The New England Revolution quietly walked away with their first piece of hardware this season. The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is a tournament held every year that is open to professional soccer teams in the US. The Revolution won this year, getting their first trophy in the team's 12 year history. Many Rev players seem to think that this has released the burden of failure in the finals.

Midfielder Steve Ralston feels that the Cup win will help them in the MLS playoff this year. "We know what it takes. We've won something now; it kind of gets the monkey off the back a little bit."

On Saturday the Revs face off against the New York Red Bulls in the second game of the Eastern Conference Semis. Last week the teams played to a tie in game one of the series.

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Claude Julien's '07 Bruins looking Solid

Despite the loss of young gun Patrice Bergeron to a grade 3 concussion, the Bruins put together a great performace at the Garden last night. Filling in for Bergeron, Glen Metropolit scored two goals and notched two assists in a solid performance. The real star of the night was Marco Sturm, who deflected a shot off of Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller for the overtime win.

11 Games into the season the B's are 7-4 with 14 points, putting them at third place in the Northeast. The Bruins are playing much better than most sportswriters and fans had predicted they would. Chalk it up to Claude Julien focusing the team's attention on cleaning up their game. Last season the Bruins were one of the most penalized teams in the NHL. The B's weren't playing dirty, they were just playing sloppy. With cleaner play comes more opportunities to take advantage of the power play, and less pressure on constant penalty killing.

Led by face-breaking (or wound re-opening if you prefer) Zdeno Chara and a well-rounded team, the 2007-2008 Bruins are looking towards the Possible Dream of getting back to the playoffs.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Possible Dream: Achieved

The Boston Red Sox are the 2007 Champions of baseball. Three years removed from the '04 miracle Sox, and 40 years removed from the Impossible Dream; a different kind of Red Sox team has clinched the World Series title. Four homegrown players were on the starting lineup card, and four homegrown players were on the field at the end. A team of well-developed prospects, savvy free agent signings, and luck (as is the case of Mike Lowell... originally the $9 million a year "throw-in" to the Josh Beckett deal) worked together as one of the most well rounded groups to take the field in the Series.

The pieces started to come together just as the Sox were raising the Championship banner in 2005. The '05 amateur draft proved to be a great one for the Sox. Theo Epstein stockpiled draft picks, 4 of the first 42 to be exact. Among those were Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz. Both of those players shined in short '07 stints that don't even count as their rookie years. 1996 saw the acquisition of Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett from Florida. Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo were signed as free agent This season, Rookie Dustin Pedroia would be the starting Shortstop. Despite an anemic April performance, Dustin turned it on the rest of the season, and likely winning the Rookie of the Year honors.

Tomorrow we will be taking a look at the Possible Dreams that other New England teams are trying to achieve this year.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Game 7's at Fenway

There's nothing like a Game 7 at home. Let's take a trip through the last four game 7's at Fenway Park.

October 12, 1967

The Impossible Dream became a nightmare when Bob Gibson stepped onto the mound for game 7 of the '67 World Series. Gibson threw a 3-hit complete game, allowing only 2 runs. The Sox would manage to bring the game within 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th, but the Cardinals blew the lead open at the top of the 6th.


October 22, 1975

A day after Carlton Fisk hit what was quite possibly the most memorable home run in postseason history, the Sox dug in against Reds hurler Don Gullett. Gullett would give up the lead in the third, with the Sox jumping ahead 3-0. The Reds would tie the game in the 7th, and eventually take the win on a Joe Morgan single in the 9th.


October 15th, 1986

Down 3 games to one to the California Angels, the '86 Sox went on to win games 5 and 6 to force a decisive game 7 at Fenway. Young gun Roger Clemens would hold the Angels to only 4 hits and one run across 7 stellar innings. Calvin Schiraldi closed out the last 6 batters, sending the Sox to the World Series.



October 21st, 2007

Like the '86 Sox, the '07 club was down 3-1 in the ALCS, and won games 5 and 6 to force a game 7. Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka had been shaky in every playoff start up to that point. Indians pitcher Jake Westbrook looked solid in his game 4 start. The Sox would make the first move, scoring on a Manny Ramirez single in the first, and on a Julio Lugo double play in the second. Mike Lowell would drive in a run on a sac fly in the third. The Indians answered with runs in the 4th and 5th innings, and Matsuzaka's night ended. Hideki Okajima would throw scoreless 6th and 7th innings.

In the bottom of the 7th, Dustin Pedroia hit a David-Ortiz-esque rocket over the left field wall. With a 5-3 lead, Jonathan Papelbon would take the ball for the rest of the game. The Sox followed Papelbon's first inning with an offensive explosion. JD Drew, Pedroia, and Youkilis would drive in a collective 6 runs to put the nail in the coffin. Papelbon gave up a leadoff single too begin the 9th, but induced a lineout and two flyouts to punch Boston's ticket to the World Series.

These are your Possible Dream Red Sox.

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