I haven’t written about sports for a long time (and this isn’t really about sports). I’ve thought about it but, for whatever reason, I just haven’t done it.
Then came last Monday.
It was Patriots Day in Boston. Patriots Day commemorates the first battles of the American Revolutionary War so, as you’d expect, it’s pretty much a local holiday. I say pretty much because it’s also celebrated in Maine (I can sort of see that) and Wisconsin (Huh?).
What else happens during Patriots Day is a little thing called The Boston Marathon. It’s also a day the Red Sox start their home game at 11AM. They do this because you really want Kenmore Square packed with marathoners and Red Sox fans around three o’clock.
So I’m up at the crack of 10:59 and switch on the TV and flip channels between the Sox and the marathon. It was a very close woman’s final and two Americans, Kara Goucher on the women’s side, Ryan Hall on the men’s, came in third.
The Sox crushed the Baltimore Orioles 12-1 starting off a great day in Boston sports. Later the Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls in an awesome 118-115 game. Even later the Bruins dangled the Montreal Canadians over the brink of elimination with a 4-2 win.
Now I have many stupid ideas, most of which, due to my hatred of being scoffed at, I keep to myself.
But after the Bruins game I had an idea. Which, for the moment, I kept to myself.
Tuesday the Sox were rained out and the B’s and C’s had off days so I began formulating my concept.
I sat on it until the B’s eliminated the Habs, 4-1, and the Sox took both ends of a double header (to make up for the rain day) 10-1 and 7-3.
On Thursday I called a publisher who was looking for sports books and tossed my idea at them.
My theory is that this week would be the greatest in Boston sports history IF all teams went undefeated.
It had everything! Bruins-Canadians playoffs! Celtics-Bulls playoffs! Red Sox-Yankees! Even the Patriots looking at a pretty good draft!
A veritable Boston sports fanatics wet dream!
After some haggling, he liked the concept, we agreed on an advance, and by Thursday evening I signed a contract.
Now all I had to do is wait.
Thursday the Celtics went up 2-1 with a 107-86 victory while the Sox had a day off awaiting the hated New York Yankees for a weekend series.
By Friday night I was getting bombed with emails from the editor. He was more excited than I when the Sox squeaked past the Yankees 5-4 in the first game.
Saturday was all about the NFL draft and the Boston Red Sox. All the pundits were saying it was a pretty good draft for the Pats as the Sox beat the Yanks in an exciting 16-11 ball game.
I was already starting to formulate some hyperbole sports books so love. The editor was sending emails five times an inning.
Okay, one day to go. Two little games and a few draft rounds to freedom! What could go wrong?
Oh yeah, a loss. Yeah, come to think of it that would sour the deal.
Which is why I didn’t get to enjoy the Red Sox sweep of the Yankees (too much) on national television due to the Celtics 121-118 double overtime loss to the Bulls.
I got an email from a seemingly exhausted editor seconds after the buzzer expressing his condolences while telling me this almost book was the most fun he’s had at work in quite some time.
Not enjoyable enough to get him to send me a little money as a consolation, but, fun all the same.
So, it was ALMOST the most exciting week in Boston sports history. It had a playoff elimination, an overtime game, some awesome pitching, incredible hitting, a grand slam, hell, home was stolen in a game!
Just one more time of my being thisclose.