I am not a Boston sports fan but that doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate the day that the city had yesterday. Starting with the Pats game at 4 o’clock and ending with a walk-off Red Sox win at 11:30, fans were taken on an emotional 8 and a half hour roller coaster ride that only sports can provide.
The Red Sox and Pats both completed amazing and unlikely comebacks to secure victories in the most dramatic of fashions. Even though I have no rooting interest in either team, it was a reminder of why I love sports so much and the thrills that fandom can provide. Following along with fellow sports fans on Twitter only enhanced my viewing experience.
That was all that needed to be said. That tweet came after Tom Brady completed a game-winning touchdown pass to Kenbrell Tompkins with 5 seconds left. It was Brady’s third attempt to lead his team down the field for a game-winning drive. After failing to get a first down on the first attempt and throwing an interception on the second, many fans began to leave Gillette Stadium.
That would prove to be a huge mistake. Brady got the ball back with 1:15 to play and no timeouts, and like he’s done so many times before, he led his team down the field. The two-time Super Bowl MVP capped off the drive with a perfectly thrown ball to Tompkins who caught it for a game-winning TD. It’s so fun to watch a great, clutch quarterback work as long as he’s not playing against you. Just ask Rob Ryan.
Had that been the only game in New England yesterday, there would have been plenty to talk about. But the Red Sox were getting set for Game 2 of the ALCS, which started just 20 minutes after Brady and the Pats handed the Saints the first loss of the season. Boston trailed Detroit 1-0 entering last night’s game after being no-hit through the first 8 and 1/3 innings of Game 1. The Red Sox high powered offense had gone ice cold, managing just 1 hit in a 1-0 loss.
The first 5 innings of Game 2 were no different. 21-game winner Max Scherzer was holding the Sox hitless again. Trailing 5-0 in the 6th inning, Boston finally got its first hit of the night. While getting a hit was a positive, the team still had a huge uphill battle in front of them – and Tigers pitching had been so dominant up to that point.
But this was Boston’s night and the 8th inning would be one that Red Sox fans will never forget. Trailing 5-1, the Red Sox loaded the bases with its slugger and postseason hero David Ortiz coming to the plate. That’s when everyone had the same thought. Boston hero Tom Brady did it, now its Ortiz’s turn.
Sure enough, Ortiz hits a game-tying grand slam on the 1st pitch from Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit. 38-year old Torii Hunter fell over the wall reaching for the ball and landed on his head, which will be the lasting image of a tremendous moment in baseball history.
With momentum at an all-time high, the Red Sox won the game in the 9th on a Saltalamacchia walk-off RBI single. I don’t know what the odds of a game-winning touchdown and a game-tying postseason grand slam happening on the same day are but I am just grateful as a sports fan to have witnessed both events. Like Adam Schein said, you gotta love sports.
UPDATE: ESPN tweeted the odds of both teams coming back…