About Last Weekend: Patriots Save Best for Last

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In case you were busy cheering Matt Schaub’s ankle injury because that’s the only way to fill the pit of sadness that lives in your chest, here’s what you missed in sports last weekend:

  • New England handed New Orleans its first loss of the season as Tom Brady’s last-minute heroics gave the Patriots a stunning 30-27 comeback victory. “Well, that’s the best comeback this city will see for a long time,” Brady said after the game. “I mean, I hate to use the word untoppable, because I don’t think it’s a real word, but I’m positive this win will prove to be the most untoppable win this city has ever seen. Everyone might as well just take the rest of the day off from caring about Boston sports, because it cannot possibly get better than this — hold on, let me just flip over to the Sox game, and … yeah, see? They’re down four in the eighth inning. As I was saying, untop— whoa …”
  • David Ortiz’s eighth-inning grand slam set the table for another miraculous Sunday night comeback in Boston as the Red Sox evened up the ALCS at a game apiece with a 6-5 walk-off win over the Detroit Tigers. Ortiz’s fifth go-ahead or game-tying hit in the final two innings of a playoff game tied him for third all time on the list with former teammate Manny Ramirez … Jason Varitek … Johnny Damon … Kevin Millar … Dave Roberts … Kevin Youkilis? Who is it? Um … Trot Nixon? No? Gosh. Dustin Pedroia is still on the team, so it can’t be him. Oh, duh, Nomar. No? OK, long-shot guess: Curt Schilling? Obviously not. Well it can’t be J.D. … Oh, you have to be kidding me. Really? J.D.? No, I won’t do it. I won’t type his whole name. The only people ahead of him on this list are Bernie Williams and Pete Rose? It’s too weird, though I guess he has an unfairly bad reputation given his contributions to the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Red Sox. Plus, it was such a big weekend for all three of those teams … you know what, fine: J.D. Drew. Ortiz and J.D. Drew are now statistical equals when it comes to clutch postseason performances.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s one run allowed proved to be one run too many, as his Dodgers fell behind rookie phenom Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 in the NLCS after Saturday’s 1-0 loss. Wacha joined Bob Gibson in 1968 as the second Cardinals pitcher in history with back-to-back postseason games with eight strikeouts and one or fewer runs allowed. “Yes, but will he be both a member of the Supreme Court and president of the United States?” asked the ghost of William Howard Taft, the only member of that exclusive fraternity. “Because, um, that’s still more impressive than equaling a record held by Gibson in ’68, yes?” When asked if he was kidding, Ghost Taft shook his visage and said, “No, this is a serious question; it’s tough to get a straight answer out of people in heaven. Everyone is so nice up here.”
  • Utah recorded its first upset of a top-five team in the regular season, knocking Stanford from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 27-21 win over the Cardinal. “It’s devastating,” said Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan of the loss, his first as a starter. “I mean, all I have left is my life in Palo Alto, my Stanford education, connections at every major tech firm and graduate school in the country, great friends and family, a decent chance of playing in the NFL, and my Rose Bowl title from last year. And now, also the perspective I’ve gained from listing all those things. Not to mention the privilege of being born in late–20th century America, when technological advances have made life for even the average person as comfortable as the lives of kings from other eras. Plus an iPhone loaded up with every Macklemore song, even the deep cuts.”
  • Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were surprisingly forced to play an actual football game as they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-19. “We said all week you guys were underrating the Jags,” said Denver head coach John Fox, who, despite his team’s absurdly narrow margin of victory, was willing to show his face to the media after the game. “They’re professionals,” Fox added as he described a group of men who would almost certainly fail to win the SEC, Pac-12, or California Southern Section Division 1 High School Championship, before joking, “These guys are all world-class players, and we’re happy to come away with a win, regardless of what anyone thinks.” Fox then pretended to get angry when asked if he had maybe looked past the Jaguars, because who wouldn’t take the week off, rather than preparing for the obscenely poor level of opposition that the Jaguars presented.
  • Case McCoy and Texas moved to 3-0 in Big 12 play after upsetting rival Oklahoma, 36-20, in the annual Red River Shootout. A disappointed Sooners head coach Bob Stoops said after the game, “It’s tough to feel like you’re out of the title picture in October. I’m used to getting way deeper into the year before that happens.” Stoops then shook his head and said, “Man, Sam Bradford, Adrian Peterson, Dan Cody, Jason White, Gerald McCoy, and no titles. None since Josh Heupel was QB1. It’s disappointing. I mean, it’s not like I had Kevin Durant and didn’t make the Sweet 16 like Rick Barnes. But it’s disappointing.” Thus concludes a bonus episode of everybody’s favorite recurring ALN feature, in which we remind America that Rick Barnes did not make the Sweet 16 with Kevin Durant on his team: America, Rick Barnes Did Not Make the Sweet 16 With Kevin Durant on His Team.
  • Jozy Altidore scored in his sixth consecutive international start as the U.S. men’s national team beat Jamaica, 2-0, in World Cup qualifying. “That was almost too easy,” Altidore said of his goal, which he scored after a poor piece of Jamaican defending. “If Jamaica didn’t have something to play for, I’d have been suspicious there was something amiss on that one.” When told that Jamaica in fact had nothing to play for after already having been mathematically eliminated from World Cup qualifying, Altidore tugged on his collar before swallowing hard and adding, “Nyuhhhhh … well, this is awkward … um, how ’bout those Jamaican bobsledders, huh? You know, Cool Runnings?” After a brief pause, Altidore then said, “Gotta go!” and sprinted out of the room so quickly that a Jozy-shaped cloud of dust hung in the air where he had been standing.
  • Corey Perry scored two goals for the Anaheim Ducks, who fired a club-record 56 shots en route to a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. “I know what you’re thinking,” Perry said after the game as he was mobbed by the media. “How did the late ’80s/early ’90s heartthrob Cory Perry maintain his athleticism into this decade? And the answer is that you’re mixing up Luke Perry with the main character from Boy Meets World, and assuming that the amalgamation of those two guys is me. Don’t worry, it happens all the time.” Perry then held up a chart he made to explain the confusion that has plagued him since childhood, before adding, “Really, though, it doesn’t work because I have the eyes of a bewildered Tobey Maguire. It’s an honest mistake, though. Seriously, this happens to me constantly.”

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Boston Red Sox, Denver Broncos, Detroit Tigers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Dodgers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Oklahoma, Ottawa Senators, Peyton Manning, St. Louis Cardinals, Stanford, Texas, Tom Brady

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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