cupby Scott Benson

We’ll get to today’s matchup of unbeatens in a minute, but first, let’s spend a moment with Dan Shaughnessy.

I can’t stay up until one-freaking-thirty in the morning to watch a baseball game. So the minute I got up today, I headed straight for an update from my trusty Patriots Daily laptop (batteries not included).

Perhaps I should have headed somewhere other than the Globe for my Sox score (honestly, at 5 in the morning, the Globe sports page isn’t much to blog about. The Herald and Pro Jo are alert and ready, while the Globe is stuck on the previous day), but that’s what I did, and the only mention of the baseball outcome was in a column written by Shaughnessy, who, as you know, I Don’t Read. But shit, what was the score? Who won the game?

Well, ol’ CHB had the outcome, all right. He stuck it awkwardly in the lead of the column he really wanted to write:

In a time-honored tradition, the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians staged an epic duel into the wee hours last night at Fenway Park.

The Indians won, 13-6, in 11 innings, and tied the American League Championship Series at one game apiece.

On a weekend when New England’s unbeaten football teams inspire dreams of BCS title games and Super Bowls, the Red Sox reminded us that the World Series march comes first.

If I had a nickel for every time this elitist fop has written those words, or a variation of them, since February 3rd, 2002, I’d be typing on a solid gold keyboard right now.

Just seems a little funny that this, his favorite cultural ‘observation’, is how Shaughnessy chooses to describe a game in which the home team allows seven runs in extra innings to lose a playoff game in their own park. Epic, Danny? Maybe if you didn’t finish your column in the fifth inning, you’d come off a little more topical, and a little less like a paranoid, shit-stirring douchebag with a massive superiority complex.

Norton, myself and the rest of the guys down at the Racoon Lodge apologize to Bozo and the rest of the cultural warriors for perhaps favoring the oblong ball over the round one now and again, thus offending their delicate sensibilities. I suppose we’re fit to drive Dan’s busses and tend to his sewage, but if we occasionally get a little boisterous about Sundays spent someplace other than the lyric little bandbox, we’ve got to be slapped down.

This, of course, is why I Don’t Read Dan Shaughnessy.

On to the morning papers, and today’s ‘epic’ showdown between the Pats and the Dallas Cowboys. Hey, look, the Globe sports page finally updated!

Bob Hohler leads off with a look at Tony ‘Dan Cortese’ Romo, the 15-game wunderkind that will lead the Cowboys today. I don’t know if Hohler coined the term ‘Romosexual’ to describe the fawning legions of Romo fans, especially in the national media, but if he did, he gets the first ever Sunday Links Gold Star.

In other game coverage, Christopher Gasper breaks down the Randy Moss and Terrell Owens subplot, and then checks in with the surprisingly consistent Eugene Wilson. Jim McBride thinks this matchup is even (it isn ‘t), and goes a little Romoesexual himself when he calls the signal caller ” effervescent.” This sounds to me like the haughty cousin of “he’s having FUN out there!” God help us.

Mike Reiss has his weekly league notes, with a look at the friendship between Bob Kraft and Jerry Jones, some PUP thoughts (Richard Seymour and others, like Troy Brown and Chad Jackson, are eligible to begin practicing this week) and more on the recent visit from Chuck Fairbanks, the second greatest coach in Patriots history.

Over in the Herald, Karen Gurgian says Laurence Maroney is out for today’s game. No sweat – I love the balance Sammy Morris brings to the Pats high-octane passing game. John Tomase also looks at Moss and Owens, before wondering if the culture in the Patriots locker room is changing. I’d say as long as people like Brady and Bruschi are drawing breath, it won’t change that much. John also says Dallas is looking to get its due today while adding just the right amount of skepticism as to their claims. Tomase also has five things to look for at 4:15 today.

In the Pro Jo, Jim Donaldson posits on – wait for it – Moss and Owens. JD does grab a beauty from TO though – apparently, it is God’s Plan that Owens be controversial. What’s God got against the rest of us?

Shalise Manza Young reminds us that, unlike the Cowboys, this is not the first big game for the Pats. Oh, snap! Is SMY deliberately trying to win my heart with this stuff, or does she just come by these articles naturally? Whatever! Talk about effervescent. Shalise gives the Pats the edge in her weekly scouting report, and spends a few minutes with backup linebacker Pierre Woods, who, like my old friend Brian, doesn’t like food that is TOO SPICEY.

Rounding out the six-state* regional coverage (the asterisk is for stubborn Vermont) is David Heuschkel of the Courant, who reminds us the Pats have a tough road today. David, always with the perspective. I hate that about him. Mike Lowe of the Press Herald likes the Pats in a high scorer today, and says all eyes will be on the guys under center.

It looks like Tennessee and Tampa for the early game on CBS, followed by national coverage of the Pats at 4. Fox offers us, inexplicably, the Redskins against the effervescent Brett Favre at 1. Uggh.

As always, you can visit for more. I’ll be back after the game.