In Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm


I’ve decided to come clean:

I’m having an affair. Two, actually.

One is taking place on the West Coast, just outside of Hollywood.

The other is playing out near the Rockies, in the thin air of Denver. Let’s just say I’m a newly minted member of the Mile High Club.

That’s right – while my beloved Red Sox pack up the uniforms and mothball the duckboats, I’m carrying out a torrid fan fling with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oh, and I’m cheating on Bill Belichick with Josh McDaniels.

I know. It’s terrible. I feel awful about it. It’s awkward, all this sneaking around. All these confusing feelings. I feel dirty. But I can’t help it.

Manny Ramirez is like an ex I just can’t shake. It’s ridiculous, I know. I thought I was over him, after all the tantrums and the commitment issues and the rocky breakup. But I miss the goofy bastard, I really do. And so do the Red Sox.

So I’ve been following his new team from afar this year and you know what?

I’m starting to fall for the Dodgers.

The team is exceedingly likable, filled with personable stars like Jim Thome and Brad Ausmus, with the winner of the “Manager I’ve Always Liked But Couldn’t Admit It” award, Joe Torre, at the wheel. Plus, the franchise is gaudy with history:

Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, Dem Bums, Sandy Koufax, Ebbets Field.

And then there’s announcer Vin Scully, who deserves his own category.

The 81-year-old Scully is a certified baseball Icon. Listening to him call a game is like rolling around in freshly cut grass. You can smell the dirt of the basepaths and the rosin on the mound. Scully’s old-timey cadence summons visions of sandlots and stickball, his tenor evoking Ray Kinsella’s idealized pastime – a pure incarnation of a game that has, unfortunately, long passed us by.

But you’d never know it, listening to Vin.

His voice is as much a part of the game as the thwack of a Louisville Slugger. For sixty years Scully has called Dodgers games, many of them by himself, and there’s no one in the business who does it better.

With all that, how can you not love this team?

Then there’s the Broncos.

What can I say? Josh McDaniels seduced me.

It happened right after last week’s game against my Patriots, just after the final horn sounded on a frustrating Pats loss:

While Bill Belichick wandered around looking like a lost nursing home patient in a ridiculous Eskimo parka, McDaniels ran towards the corner of the end zone, his right arm raised in a Mile High salute. He stopped, the crowd stood, and then McDaniels launched four of the greatest fist pumps I’d ever seen, one nearly catapulting him forward onto the grass. It was an emotional outburst that you’d never see from Bill Belichick. And that’s why I loved it.

Perhaps it was the fist pump, or perhaps it was the memory I have of McDaniels offensive-play-calling prowess (hell, he turned Matt Cassel into a franchise player), maybe it’s his age (33), or maybe it’s just that I’m a little tired of Belichick’s All-Business approach to the game, but I’ve spent much of this week in the throes of an all-things-McDaniels affair.

I hate to say it, but between Manny and McDaniels, Scully and Stokely, thin air and LA smog, my Fan Will is being tested, and tested well.

And really, can you blame me?


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