by Scott Benson

It blew in here last night, about 7:00, on the heels of a muggy, overcast day. First, it was the thunder, banging its way up the street, sending Tedy flying (the dog, not the linebacker, who as far as I know is not afraid of thunder). Then, the rains came, set first on spray, then stream, and, for a minute, pulsate. A few minutes later, the coast clear, I stepped out for a smoke. The minute I opened the back door I felt it. It was as if someone had just turned a page.

Fall had arrived.

The abrupt change conjured such powerful memories, everything that comes with growing up and living in New England, the place that invented autumn. Walking out that back door into the suddenly brisk night air brought a familiar, welcome sensation, like the way the smell of something cooking can sometimes bring your mind instantly back, through the clutter of decades, to your grandmother’s kitchen table.

I can’t help it – the first goddam thing I thought of when I felt that air slap against my face was ‘football’.

This morning the clouds have cleared and its just an incredible day, under brilliant, flawless skies, still not yet 60 degrees. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect day to begin the NFL season. Another season that conjures memories to the point that they are tumbling everywhere.

More memories will be made today, and nearly every Sunday between now and January, as they have nearly all of our lives. But the details, which will become important, don’t matter much at the moment. Right now, I’m just celebrating the annual return of an old friend, as I have so many times before. I expect I’m not alone.


Mike Reiss has posted his first report from the stadium, and he says there’s a pretty strong wind whipping around Foxboro, so welcome to the big leagues, Steven Gostkowski.

Word came yesterday that the Patriots had released returner-receiver Jonathan Smith and promoted Bam Childress back to the varsity. Wow, they really are heartless bastards. They probably told the former Bill he was going to start just to get more out of him. Anyway, its good to see that Bam ultimately made the team, because he was the best wide receiver they had this August.

I should probably just let this go, but I couldn’t help notice the lead to the Globe baseball notes column this morning, authored by old friend Ask Nick Cafardo:

“The finger-pointing and the blame game are getting old. It accomplishes nothing except to allow angry Red Sox observers to vent.”

That’s written by the guy who, for the last six years, has been raising his eyebrow about “how they do business down there” in Foxboro.

I’ll be back throughout the day. I CANNOT wait.