LONGSHOTS: If I were a QB, a DB, a stat geek or a soccer mom ...
by Dave Long
I don’t’ know about you, but when I was a kid I used to wonder what it would be like to be someone else. You know, like Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, John Lennon, Bill Bradley and especially Julius Erving — as I would have loved to jump that high and be able to palm a basketball like it was a grapefruit. And I know this sounds dumb, but I even wondered what my name might be if I could change it to something else.
I was playing the game again this week, after a good ball wide receiver in the NFL changed his name entirely. I let my mind wander a bit and here are some of the things that crossed it as I said “If I were….”
If were a member of Red Sox Nation, I would thank my lucky stars that Bud Selig rigged the process to let John Henry and Tom Werner buy the team over the richer Charles Dolan, whose son Jimmy Dolan has run the Knicks into the ground.
If I were departed (for WEEI.com) UL baseball beat writer Alex Spear, I’d hope my column talking about how players need an “adjustment” year to really perform at Fenway Park gets lost in the archives, after Julio Lugo and Clay Buchholz were horrendous in year two at Fenway and brittle J.D. Drew did squat aside from a big month of June.
If I were Drew, I’d get dishonest agent Scott Boris working on my next landing place, because after Jason (sitting on the dock of the) Bay’s demonstrated he’s the fifth hitter they expected Drew to be, while JD played in fewer than 140 games for the seventh time in his 10-year career, he’ll be the odd man out when Theo goes looking for the booper they still need to hit behind David Ortiz.
If I were crackpot stat geek Bill James, I’d hope no one remembers that his all-knowing computer had Dustin Pedroia hitting .300, with 40 doubles, a paltry 77 runs scored and a paltrier 50 RBI, because as I write this, with 113, he’s already scored 36 more runs, knocked in 28 more, has 10 more doubles and is hitting 27 points higher, while leading the AL in hits, runs, doubles and batting average. I, oh by the way, had him at .313 with 109 runs, 43 doubles and 63 RBI, not right either, but a lot closer. He also had Jacoby Ellsbury hitting .325 and Jon Lester 10-10, with a 4.42 ERA. I had Lester at 14-8.
If I were Theo Epstein, I’d be tempted to tell Glen Ordway, and others who are saying it was a no-brainer, that I was right and you were wrong by not giving Minnesota what it wanted for Johann Santana. Lester’s been better than Santana since May 1, is five years younger and $19 per million cheaper. If you know your farm system, giving up kids for a star isn’t always the right thing to do.
If I were Ordway, I resist the impulse to pick the Blue Jays to win the AL East again for 100 years or so.
If I were a UNH football person during the Ricky Santos, David Ball era, I’d be pretty encouraged after seeing them beat Army in week one and new QB RJ Toman throw five touchdown passes in the 51-47 win over URI on Saturday.
If were the AD at Oregon, I’d be tearing up the deal (again) of offensive coordinator and former UNH OC Chip Kelly, because after scoring 32 more points in Saturday’s win over Purdue, the Ducks are 3-0 and averaging 48 a game under the Central alum, even with Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon gone for greener pastures — which, if you’ve seen their uniforms, is saying something.
If I were Fox News gadfly Bill O’Reilly, I’d take Barack Obama up on his offer of spotting him 10 points in a one-on-one basketball game to 11. Speed doesn’t count nearly as much in a game like that, so he’s got to be able score at least once.
If I were Bill-O’s nemesis Keith Olbermann, I’d spend more time on NBC’s Football Night in America and less on the upcoming debates, because his utterly fawning coverage of Obama is embarrassing, even for the low standards of the 24/7 cable news political coverage.
If I were Matt Cassell, I don’t know what I’d do, except listen to everything I’m told and do it exactly as they tell me.
If I were me, which I am, after seeing him the first two weeks, I’d feel better about my concern if Richard Seymour could again be the dominating presence he was before two injury-filled seasons.
If I were Bill Belichick, I’d be thankful for Kevin Faulk, who again Sunday showed how valuable he is, especially in a year they’ll be throwing to the backs more, by gaining 53 yards receiving, another 53 on three punt returns, and running for 13 on two carries in piling up 116 all-purpose yards in the win over the Jets.
If I were the New York media who spent the week writing things like “no Brady no problem” and “the Jets are now the team to beat in the AFC East,” I’d take my foot out of my mouth.
If I were the get-a-lifer fans around the country who were happy when Tom Brady went down for the year, I’d be prepared to get it stuffed down my throat by Belichick and company.
If I were the next GM to sign the loquacious Bengal get-a-lifer formerly known as Chad Johnson, I’d assign him any number but 85. It’s one thing to change your name to promote a laudable goal like World B. Free did in the 1980’s after being the Celtics-killer Lloyd Free. But it’s another to change it to Chad Ocho Cinco — in a pre-arranged deal to make some extra dough from sales of your number 85 jersey, because that’s what it spells in Español.
If I were lipstick-wearing pit bull soccer mom Sarah Palin, I wouldn’t quit the day job.
And if I had a brain, I probably wouldn’t be writing silly columns like this.
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts the Absolute Sports Experience at Billy’s Sports Bar in Manchester each Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon that is broadcast live on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.