In good-natured deference to JMac, Sara, and all the other lifelong Boston fans with deep, long-term attachments to the team and region, I'm going to start off by saying:
Five Nice Things About The Red Sox
1. In Terry Francona, they are led by a guy with class and character. Even after the miracle of 2004, writers like Bill Simmons kept trying to turn Francona into Jim Donnan (you know...barely tolerated when winning, thoroughly disposable when losing). You should check out the Boston newspapers' Sox coverage sometime. You've heard that managing in New York is like being under a microscope? In Boston, it's like a proctoscope. Good to see a nice guy like Francona get the last laugh.
2. It's nice every once in a while for the actual best team in baseball to win the World Series. I think we were only one more fluke world champion away from an onslaught of "What's wrong with baseball?" articles. Make no mistake, the Red Sox are worthy and deserving world champs.
3. As I discovered a couple of years ago when I first got MLB Extra Innings, Sox color analyst Jerry Remy is the most entertaining announcer in baseball. Check out his Zapruder film-like breakdown of a fan being hit upside the head with a slice of pizza.
4. Manny's slide in game three was freaking sweet. It's not on YouTube, unfortunately...but that slide away from the plate, gingerly reaching over the catcher's leg, slapping the plate and popping up to his feet with the "safe" call...awesome. Too bad he was out.
5. Got nothin'. In fact, I had to stretch for just four.
And of course, the hands-down worst thing about the Red Sox winning the World Series? It means baseball season is over....(sniff). It should be tumultuous off-season. A-Rod's up for grabs...and, c'mon...I'm begging here, can we please not pretend that Boston fans would do anything other than turn cartwheels if he signs with the Sox? The Braves will look for someone to inherit centerfield from Andruw Jones. The Yanks will introduce a new manager. Me? I'm going to use this off-season to finally throw myself headlong into Sabermetrics. I've always been a dabbler...but now I'm going to take it to the next level so I can converse with the cool kids at the Think Factory. Only four months until pitchers and catchers report!
My take on The Celebration? Not my steamy cuppa joe. At all. But I take Mark Richt's word when he said that he didn't give the guys any specific guidelines for it and it wound up getting out of hand. I don't think that it suggests any kind of dramatic shift in the way Coach Richt and his staff approach things in terms of sportsmanship. He wanted to do something completely unexpected and out of the blue. As you can see from that clip and the looks on Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow's faces, they sure never saw it coming. So...as a one-time gimmick, aimed at seizing emotional momentum in a series where Georgia has too often worn that shell-shocked expression themselves, I got no problem with it.
Gotta get after Kentucky and Auburn now. Tennessee trips over their own feet one more time...bank on it. But Georgia needs to put themselves in a position of take advantage of it.