Today is the first day of Patriot's training camp and Shaughnessy speculates about the upcoming season. It is particular torture when Shaughnessy steps outside of Red Sox world to cover the other local teams.
Shaughnessy starts with the "All is well in the world" technique as he discusses where to stay in Arizona for the Super Bowl and detailing his hope that it is not too cold in Boston for the Super Bowl parade. When he has used this technique in the past, we have debated whether he is being his overly cynical and/or bitterly sarcastic self. I will cut him a little slack on this one - he seems to be using the technique just to set the stage for describing a season for which people have high expectations.
He then proceeds, however, to make two head-scratching comparisons. He says expectations are sky high for the Patriots this year just as they were for the 86 Celtics because of Bill Walton's arrival and the 78 Sox with Dennis Eckersley's arrival. Granted, the Celts had won titles in 81 and 84 and Walton was a nice fit but I dont recall Walton's acquisition pushing expectations above and beyond - he was a reserve player in the twilight of his career. The Red Sox reference is even more puzzling --the Sox had been in the World Series in 75 but to suggest that adding Eckersley convinced people that the Sox were a lock for the Series in 1978 does not resonate well with me--a poor analogy for this year's Patriots team.
He takes a pot shot (again) at Bob and Myra for selling their sanctimonious soles for the acquisition of Moss and Meriweather. We have discussed this before but this sanctimony of which Shaughnessy speaks seems to be more of a media creation than a Patriots creation. The Patriots have taken other character gambles in the past in the Kraft era.
Other quick notes:
- Shank trots out two other favorite conventions - we are treated to a "Sons of Belichick" reference and a "Mssrs." use.
- Cultural reference alert: Shaughnessy goes mostly modern today - a Tim Donaghy joke ("even Tim Donaghy thinks the Pats are a lock"--pretty funny) and a Harry Potter reference as well.
Bottom Line: Not much here - not sure what Shaughnessy has contributed in any meaningful way to the dialogue.