|Rusney Castillo signs with Red Sox for 7 years, $72.5 million||Connelly’s Top Ten: All-Star Starting Pitchers, Medal for Frates, Weekend||Video: Angels’ Garret Richards Blows Out Knee vs. Red Sox||The Mishandled Career of Jackie Bradley Jr.|
A lot of what we do at Sports of Boston relies on big stories during the year. We create the articles so that major topics can be scrutinized, debated, and/or praised. 2008 was no different as there were many major sports stories that garnered tons of local attention, and national attention as well.
A few SoB writers voted for the dramatic end to Spygate, and some voted for the Manny Ramirez saga and his subsequent trade to the L.A. Dodgers. But, the story that definitely had people talking in 2008, and will probably have them talking in 2009 as well, was the catastrophic occurance that took place Sept. 7, 2008: Tom Brady’s Torn ACL.
Brady suffered the injury early in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, while completing a pass to Randy Moss. Cheifs safety Bernard Pollard was trying to prevent the pass, but landed low on Brady’s left leg (while Tom was planting his foot for the pass). In the freak occurance, Brady’s season was done as the Patriots were hungry for a Super Bowl win after the way the 2007 season ended (at 18-1 and a Super Bowl defeat).
It was later discovered that Brady also had an MCL tear, which complicated his surgery and recovery. He also suffered an infection in the surgically repaired knee, and there are serious doubts that he’ll be ready for the start of the 2009 season.
As we now know, backup quarterback Matt Cassel was thrusted into the starting role and saved the the Patriots’ season, leading the team to an 11-5 record, which for the first time since 1985 was not good enough to qualify for postseason play. Cassel proved capable as a starter, but is now an unrestricted free agent, so the Pats have a tough call to make: apply the franchise tag on Cassel and risk not being able to trade him, or let the man go.
SoB’s Mike had this to say about the catastrophic knee injury for Brady:
The course of the Patriots and NFL seasons changed entirely on one play. Any hopes the Patriots had for an attempt at a truly perfect season were gone. The playoffs as a lock were also gone and the door was opened at the time for the Jets, Dolphis, Bills, Steelers, Colts, Chargers, etc. to exceed their original expectations.
SoB’s Pete voted for the Patriots losing their chance at perfection (by finishing 18-1) as his top choice, but did also register a vote for this category’s Runner-up: the Celtics winning Banner No. 17.
“Faith in Danny Ainge is reaffirmed and the ghost of Rick Pitino can rest easy as the Big 3 bring home an NBA championship.”
This weekend, the SoB Staff will release their wild predictions for the Boston sports world in 2009.