Burke: Those magical Boston sports Sundays are back

David Ortiz Koji Uehara Red Sox
David Ortiz gives Koji Uehara a lift in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays. Credit: Getty Images

Get this: there are high school freshmen in and around greater Boston right now that can’t entirely remember those magical fall Sundays from the last decade.

You remember. The Patriots would be playing in the marquee matchup of that weekend’s NFL slate, typically the late afternoon game, and just as Tom Brady was putting his knee to the ground, we would all immediately turn our attention to the first inning of that night’s Red Sox playoff game.

Those Sundays happened with regularity from 2003-2008.

Now, it’s not like the Boston sports scene has been trash since ’08. Far from it, actually.

Just about every sports town in America would be envious of a Stanley Cup title, an NBA Finals appearance, a Super Bowl appearance and another Stanley Cup Final appearance in a four year span. But since Adam Vinatieri’s kick went through the uprights against the Rams on Feb. 3, 2002, this town has been greedy as hell. And, really, that’s just fine. In sports, greed for another championship is not only good, it’s great.

This Sunday our greed will be rewarded with a throwback Boston sports double-header, the likes of which we haven’t really seen around here since Oct. 28, 2007. That day FOX TV carried the 4:15 p.m. Patriots game against the Washington Redskins, in which the undefeated Pats annihilated Joe Gibbs’ ’Skins at Gillette, 52-7, and, immediately following the last whistle in Foxboro, carried Game 4 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. Late that evening, Jonathan Papelbon threw his glove a mile high into the thin Colorado air after blowing one by Rockies outfielder Seth Smith. The Red Sox had won their seventh title in franchise history that night and the Pats looked well on their way to winning their fourth.


There were plenty of other magical Sundays before that, too. October 21, 2007 was pretty good (the Pats ripped the Dolphins and the Sox beat the Indians in Game 7 of the ALCS). October 24, 2004 was fun (the Pats beat the Jets, 13-7, at Gillette and the Sox beat the Cardinals in Game 2 in the World Series at Fenway). Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004 was unreal (the Pats beat Seattle, 30-20, in Foxboro and some guy named Dave Roberts swiped a base late night at Fenway against the Yankees).

This Sunday an undefeated team will again be in Foxboro. The New Orleans Saints look like the best team in the NFC at 5-0 and will face the 4-1 Pats at Gillette in the marquee game on the NFL slate. Boston sports fans won’t have to change the channel away from FOX, as Game 2 of the ALCS will take place soon after Bill Belichick shakes hands with Sean Payton.

This Sunday it’s highly unlikely that the Pats will beat the Saints by 45 points and no matter what happens at Fenway by the end of the night, the Red Sox will still be at least six wins away from hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy.

But on Sunday, Boston will once again be the hub of the sports universe.

Yup, that magic is back in Boston this weekend. And it never gets old.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.