I can think of worse things than an exciting Patriots win (even if it's only preseason) to cheer me up after the Red Sox a) played while I was at work again and b) lost in crotch-kicking fashion to boot.
I'm familiar with the relevant facts about the game the Sox dropped yesterday to finish out their series with the Blue Jays, who apparently had a getaway to make to California and so that's why they played the working world was still on lunch hour. And as I'd feared when I put the words "road" "win" and "streak" together in the same sentence, despite taking a three-run lead into the ninth inning, they wound up snatching a won series from the jaws of a sweep.
I know my erstwhile binky, Jonathan Papelbon, continues this year's slide from "lights out" to "occasionally unreliable" and blew that save yesterday. There is absolutely no excuse for that, but I missed it and sure as hell didn't seek out the "highlights", so I'm just trying to focus on the fact that they won the series and move on.
Luckily, last night, Julian Edelman was there to help.
I'm sure he didn't actually catch every pass Patriots quarterbacks threw last night, but that's what it seemed like. And he continued to earn my father's nickname of "Wes Jr." with his yards after catch, cutting and bumping and slipping through defenders' hands.
The Patriots won by the slimmest of margins: 27-24 as the final seconds ticked down. Getting excited about this would be something like making pennant predictions after the first week of Spring Training, but on its own, just as a contest, this was an exciting spectacle.
Both of Brady's backups, Brian Hoyer and Patriots' 2010 seventh-round draft pick Zac Robinson, acquitted themselves very well -- 2009 undrafted free agent Hoyer was the only Pats QB to crack 100 yards passing on the night, and it was Robinson who drove the third-string offense downfield at the end of the game to set up the game-winning field goal. Losing Tom Brady again would be an utter nightmare, but it's good to know there's at least some depth at the QB position in case the unthinkable happens.
Ditto Edelman, who remains second-fiddle to Welker, but shows he also has a serviceable backup as the team's chief slot receiver. At least as a test of the Patriots' depth (on offense, anyway -- *shakes fist at Darius Butler*), this taste of adrenaline was an exciting start to the most wonderful time of the year, when baseball's still in season, the Patriots are starting up and a New England autumn is just around the corner. Oh, and it's Friday. What's not to like?
P.S. This has been making the rounds, but if you haven't seen the Adrian Beltre Facts, get on it, yo. (Personal favorites: "Adrian Beltre once collided with himself. It was before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series." and "Adrian Beltre pulled a ball to the opposite field.")