Friday, October 13, 2006

The weather is here, wish you were beautiful

Quick thoughts (and a couple of links) on a perfect New England autumn day . . .

Randy Moss to the Patriots? Something tells me Tom Brady would punt Reche Caldwell to the curb and sign off on this in a heartbeat. Me, I'm intrigued . . . but wary. It's one of those rumors that as a fan, you get excited about even though common sense suggests you probably shouldn't. We all know Moss, for all of his talent, is a complete and total mutt. Those lobbying for the Patriots to deal for him will remind us that Corey Dillon was a malcontent in Cincinnati who has been a model teammate in New England (just ask Laurence Maroney), but Dillon's frustrations with Cincinnati primarily stemmed from losing. Moss strikes me as a player who couldn't give a damn about his team's place in the standings, and I know I'm not the only one who spent words the last few seasons telling people I'd rather have Deion Branch and David Givens catching passes (and blocking . . . and playing selflessly . . .) for my favorite football team than someone like Moss, or Terrell Owens, or any other members of the Insane Receiver Posse. I could talk myself into being excited about Moss becoming a Patriot. But it would take something the player himself too often lacks: effort.

• Though I caught only the end of the interview, it was a pleasant surprise to hear Mo Vaughn on WEEI yesterday. For someone who lived so large, he's been laying pretty low since a blown-out elbow, bad wheels and his affinity for bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches conspired to prematurely end his career at age 35. I hope this is an indication that Mo is ready to become a prominent public figure in Boston again. It seems several eons ago now, what with all the Sox drama in recent years, but it actually wasn't even a decade ago that he in many ways was the Red Sox, their anchor in the lineup, the community, and the clubhouse. He was an accountable, affable, humanly flawed slugger, relentlessly dedicated to both the Jimmy Fund and the Foxy Lady. He was Big Papi with a few more demons and less aptitude in the clutch. And his importance as the first African-American player to emerge as the face and the soul of the Red Sox cannot be overstated. Mo, who made roughly $85 million in his career, sounded as if retirement is treating him well, and he says he's in better shape than he was toward the end of his playing days. He sounded happy to be away from the spotlight, but here's hoping he finds a place next to Tom Caron on NESN, or a prominent talk-radio gig, or something to keep Mo in Red Sox fans' consciousness. I shouldn't need a random reminder to remember how much I liked him.

• I can't recommend enough this piece by Lisa Olson (yes, that Lisa Olson) in the New York Daily News on Cory Lidle. I thought it was far and away the best-written and most heartfelt piece I read on the tragedy, and it gave insight into his personality that was lacking in many of the other columns. She also does a remarkably conscientious job of reporting - she assumes the 6-year-old boy is Lidle's son, Christopher, but because she isn't certain, she tells us she isn't certain. Trust me when I say such forthrightness is uncommon. And of course, the spot-on shots at the Yankees' arrogantly impersonal stars (this means you, Captain) are always good for brownie points with us.

• So I'm on my way to do some errands (Errand No. 1: Iced coffee, Dunkin' Donuts) this afternoon with my 2 1/2 year old daughter when the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" falsettos its way through my speakers. I think little of it . . . until I look in the mirror and, to my delight, catch my daughter grinning and "picking the apple" so perfectly that Travolta surely would shed a tear at the sight of it all. I suppose I must admit at this point that, yes, a few of our retro records were salvaged on Disco Demolition Night, and yes, she may have heard the coke-and-a-smile, decadent-'70s anthem coming out of her daddy's iPod once or twice . . . and yes, her dancin' fool of a father may or may not have been wearing a white polyester jump suit as he taught her the appropriate dance moves. But I've already said too much.

• As for last week's Completely Random Tabloid Cover:

Well, if you really insist.

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