Here are the biggest Boston sports stories in the first two-plus weeks of 2020:
- The Patriots lost in the Wild Card round for the first time since 2009, ending their eight-year streak of making it to the AFC Championship and three-year streak of reaching the Super Bowl. The lack of offensive weapons was apparent for most of the season and their once “historic” defense began to fizzle out in December, ultimately getting sliced up by Ryan Fitzpatrick and then manhandled by Derrick Henry to close out a disappointing 2019 campaign. Tom Brady’s future in New England is uncertain, as is the direction of the franchise if he decides to part ways.
- Speaking of uncertainty, the Red Sox are a month away from Spring Training and they don’t have a manager. As it turns out, Alex Cora was heavily involved in the 2017 Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. Rather than waiting to assess the details of his impending suspension, the Sox did the right thing in cutting ties with their manager immediately so they can began looking towards the future. The name that’s been floating around the most as a potential replacement is Jason Varitek. In the meantime, we’re left to wonder what level of cheating Cora brought to the 2018 Red Sox and what it means for that team’s legacy.
- Last week, Julian Edelman was arrested in Beverly Hills for jumping on and damaging someone’s Mercedes-Benz in the midst of some wild partying with Paul Pierce and Danny Amendola. The good news for the 33 year-old is that his shoulder and knee are obviously fine as he prepares to have two surgeries done this off-season. Tom Brady took to Instagram on Wednesday to poke some fun at his buddy:
Tom Brady poked fun at Julian Edelman on Instagram for his weekend antics pic.twitter.com/9I1j1opJP2
— Devon Clements (@DevclemNFL) January 14, 2020
(Getting drunk and jumping on cars is not part of the TB12 regiment, Jules.)
- Dating back to New Year’s Eve, the Bruins have gone a pedestrian 3-2-3. Due to their lack of regulation losses they still have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 27-9-12, but their 3-12 record in overtime and shootout’s is the worst in the NHL by a wide margin. Columbus, Ottawa, and St. Louis are all tied for the second most OT/SO losses with eight. The worst episode yet came in Philadelphia on Monday when Brad Marchand forgot the puck:
- The Celtics closed out 2019 and rolled into 2020 by winning eight out of nine to improve to 25-8, good for the third best record in the NBA. In less than two weeks they’ve slipped down to the sixth best record by going 2-4, with three of the four losses coming against teams that are below .500 and the other one coming against a Sixers squad that was missing Joel Embiid. Injuries have been a factor but one or two missing pieces shouldn’t equal losses to teams like the Wizards and Pistons, who have a combined record of 28-54. All signs point to the C’s not being ready to face the 36-6 Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday night. Hopefully they can surprise us.
The last two decades were a dream come true. This decade is off to a terrible start. This isn’t an overreaction or a claim that the ship is sinking, but a reminder to stay humble. The consistent success that we’ve grown accustomed to is not normal. We can’t even say it’s been a “once in a lifetime” experience, because most sports fans could live a hundred lifetimes and never see their teams win 12 championships in 18 years. Cherish it for what it is because, like anything, it could all end tomorrow. It probably won’t, but you get what I’m saying. Happy 2020.