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Bob Lobel: Why Can’t We Get Players Like That?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Bob Lobel, Sports Legend

"We could have had it all." As I watched Adele dominate the Grammys it got me thinking; we, as Boston sports fans, could have had it all too. We were so close to having, over a 5 year span, a championship in each of the 4 major sports and more importantly, a vengeful win over the New York Giants to repair the wound still open from 2008. But before we get to what we could and could not have had, and just what “it all” is, there has to be some catching up to do.

Now – I have a chance so say some things that could not have been said on Television. Either there was not enough time to get it across or there were too many feathers waiting to be ruffled, any way you look at it was a lose/lose situation.

It’s in the context of a sports culture so passionate and loyal that it can list total wins and losses, of all major sports, according to the emotional toll exacted or, hopefully, the emotional pleasure released. As any Boston sports fan knows, there is a long list on both sides of the ledger that reminds us about what defines us.

Terry Francona

Certainly, the Red Sox, who have come off a disastrous fall failure, may be the only team ever to lose both GM and manager at the same time. It was obvious, both had to go, both outlasted their usefulness in a ruthless business.

In my honest opinion, Theo had to go more than anyone. He spent over a $500,000,000 on players who took the money and failed on the field. His enabler finally figured it out when the boy wonder’s minor league prospects had to be traded off to cover his butt. I guess I never bought into the Theo’s entitlement when he was anointed and then immediately turned on his benefactors.

We say this as the Sox front office are about to assemble on their own Valentine's Day with more questions than answers. Unlike the last guy, Ben Cherington will have to earn his money. Ben, by the way, was a Dan Duquette hire, but I digress.

There are a couple of things not to be tackled today: Thomas the Tank Engine goalie and his Facebook life. Is this foreshadowing Boston sports future? Which Red Sox player will be the first to follow his lead? How about Celtics going forward to middle earth and decidedly needing to rebuild? Who’s going and who’s staying? Maybe it will be all hashed out by this time next week.

Let’s get back to “having it all,” something that only Tom Brady gets to enjoy. Don’t we all kind of want to be him? Along with Tom’s key to the city, he touts, 3 Super Bowl Rings, 2 MVP’s, devilishly handsome good looks matched by a super-model wife and 2 beautiful children.

Well, for the last 10 years I used to want to be him, but to be honest, George Clooney has recently claimed that spot. (Did you know when George was 19 he drove a limo for his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, when she was here in Boston?) George recently dethroned Tom only because, we have put Our Tom in a position of having to win and win now.

There is no margin of error for Tommy Boy. "We could have had it all," going back to Phoenix in 2008 before our hearts were ripped out by David Tyree. But we certainly know there is no going back, that was the time when having it all was the real truth, a utopia within reach.

The key, my friends, is that we have plenty and plenty is enough. It has to be... we have to remember we had Orr, Russell, Bird, Williams, Brady, and yes, Thomas. We are really in a good place.

Even as we mourn the losing of Heidi Watney, I’ve been told her replacement Jenny Dell will make you forget her. Just like the next championship will ease the pain of our prior shortcomings, let’s just hope it comes sooner than later.

Oh, and one side note about that hire by NESN, they must not have gotten my tape. They too, could have had it all.



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