by Scott Benson

See, I thought the Patriots were just playing a practice game tonight.

Evidently, it’s much more than that. It has to be – the general columnists have arrived this morning, to instruct us on What This All Means.

Shouldn’t these guys be in Baltimore or someplace? Somewhere ‘important’?

Bob Ryan of the Globe is such a purist that he can’t bring himself to type ‘pre-season’, because that would mean he’s drinking somebody’s ‘Kool Aid’. What did the innocent powdered children’s drink ever do to get this kind of grief? So it’s ‘exhibition’ instead. Good – A Man of Principle. Yeah, this is somebody I need to hear from first thing this morning. It’s like somebody gave Lisa Simpson a newspaper column.


Anyway, did you know that the Patriots are favorites to win the Super Bowl this season? I don’t know how I miss this stuff. Context! And by the way, wear light jackets when visiting Phoenix next February. Got your tickets yet? It’s OK, Bob says it’s cool to make plans.


Thankfully, Steve Buckley of the Herald is also on the scene to examine the most important aspect of tonight’s epic battle – how this will affect the Red Sox, or most importantly, Red Sox Nation. I shit you not. Buckley is absolutely intrigued by what you’re going to do on the evening of September 16th; watch the Pats play the Chargers, or watch the Red Sox play the Yankees.

Honest to God, that was the first thing I thought of this morning too. In fact, I didn’t sleep all that well, worrying about it. I don’t want to wish away the next month, but what on God’s Green Earth will people do? How will they vote in the big Red Sox and Patriots election? And What Will It All Mean?

I suspect Steve will be back to tell us. I can hardly wait.

Get this though – Buckley references Patriots quarterback Austin Powers, as well as new teammate (and part-time model) Dante Wesley, and muses that “the days of leather helmets and no facemasks are far behind us.” No shit, Sherlock. Hey Steve – what year is this, exactly?

I’ve got a headache. What kind of world is it where people like Reiss, Breer and Tomase get pushed to the bottom of the Internet so Ryan and Buckley can top the page with this waste of space?

Never mind, I know the answer. I cannot believe that Dan Shaughnessy missed this opportunity to tell us what a ignorant lot football fans are.

Anyway, I have a feeling that the Big Three know full well that we’ll forget all about tonight’s practice game by tomorrow night, unless somebody gets killed or something (God forbid, by the way). Breer has our Feature of the Day, an instructive look at what the Patriots will try to accomplish tonight. Reiss has a nice bit outlining ten things to look for, and Tomase has a grab bag of Game Face notes.

You don’t need to read anything else, take my word for it. But I suppose if you need Context, you can continue to search for the answer.

Oh, dammit, I can’t wait! What are you going to do on September 16th? Tell me now!