by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist
Though the presidential campaign is heading down the home stretch, a distressing number of New Englanders can’t name Hillary Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s back-ups (vice-presidential picks). But football fans throughout the region know that Jimmy Garoppolo is Tom Brady’s back-up. Jimmy G is starting the first four games of the season for the Patriots, due to Brady’s suspension.
This is old news to local sports fans, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Brady for his alleged involvement in tampering with footballs before a 2015 playoff game with Indianapolis that the Patriots won 45-7.
Goodell’s rationale for imposing the suspension involved Brady not providing requested cell-phone information. Brady’s failure to respond satisfactorily to Goodell’s request did him in. The courts denied Brady’s appeal. Fair enough.
But with the aforementioned presidential election fast approaching, many wonder why candidate Clinton received a free pass from the system when she erased thousands of e-mails and when her people took hammers to destroy phones to which investigators sought access. This was blatant obstruction of justice.
So why is Brady paying such a steep price while Clinton gets a “pass” on her glide path to the presidency?
The Red Sox are in a pennant race! As September unfolds, the drama builds. Whatever happens, it’s nice to have September baseball mean something around here again. The BoSox finished last three of the past four years. And five years ago the team suffered the greatest September collapse ever.
At this writing, it looks like the last two series of the season will determine Boston’s fate. The Sox are in Yankee Stadium for three games from Sept 27-29. If the Yankees remain in the hunt this showdown could be classic. Then the Sox return to Fenway Park to close out the season with three games against a Blue Jay team that’s been in first place most of the year.
Whatever happens during the season’s last week, at least the Sox made it interesting this year. After the Toronto finale on Sunday, Oct. 2, David “Big Papi” Ortiz can hopefully celebrate a first place finish and future post-season action before he retires.
That same day features the Patriots hosting the Bills in what will be Jimmy Garoppolo’s final game as a starter as the Brady suspension comes to an end.
Hopefully the end of the Garoppolo Era won’t coincide with the end of the Big Papi Era.
Before Jimmy Garoppolo opened the season at quarterback for the New England Patriots last Sunday, Tom Brady had opened the previous 14 seasons for the Pats. Who was the previous non-Brady New England opening day quarterback? (Answer follows)
Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on Sept. 8 include Negro League baseball star Buck O’Neil (1907) and NBA guard Maurice Cheeks (1956).
“He’s got power enough to hit home-runs in any park, including Yellowstone.”—Manager Sparky Anderson, on Pirate slugger Willie Stargell.
Drew Bledsoe started the 2001 season at quarterback for New England. At the time Jimmy Garoppolo was nine years old.
Michael Moffett is a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord, while also teaching on-line for New England College. He co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is email@example.com.