Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bob Lobel: Bringing Back the Panic Button

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

This is the best I have to offer under the circumstances.

I know it used to work just fine, but it has been so long since it’s been needed, that I just assumed the world had changed, and that we would always get to enjoy winning teams and championship parades. 

Guess I was totally wrong about that.

So out it comes and let’s see if there is any magic left in this thing that I found in a dump near New Orleans during Super Bowl week 2002. The Patriots, you remember, were 14-point underdogs to the Rams, “the greatest show on turf.” 

Don’t ask me why I was at the dump and don’t speculate on why I stumbled upon this item, or why I took it. But it just seemed to be pulling me toward it and wouldn’t stop until I picked it up and took it back to my hotel. 

Nothing to lose here! 

14-point underdogs, a window view of the Superdome, so why not connect the dots? Turn it on and point it toward where the game was being played… Bingo! We got bingo! 

And so this particular chapter of this particular legend was born. In bringing back to Boston I found that the less I used it the better it worked. I haven’t used it for the last 10 or so years. It hasn’t been needed until now. 

Part of the deal with the “button” is that you have to put it in a situation that allows it to possibly work. 

Seriously, it would not have helped Bobby Valentine.  It would not have helped if the Celtics and the Bruins were not in a panic situation. Granted, it seems like a long, long time since the Patriots won a title. 

I would have used it in 2007, but misfortune happened so quickly and I was in Arizona, and didn’t think I would need it with an undefeated team playing a team that barely deserved to be there.   

My bad! 

So, now seems like as good time any to see what magic might remain. Bring it out, turn it on. After all, a World Series champion, worthy of the greatest of praise and admiration, just doesn’t go out and lose 10 straight games the following year. That is an unnatural thing to happen.

So let’s not blame Clay, or Middlebrooks, or Jenny Dell, or walkup songs or wonder why we can’t get players like Josh Beckett. Blame is like an illegal drug. It makes us feel good while not doing anything worthwhile or taking any responsibility. 

Let’s fight bad magic with good magic. It’s like shining a light into the dark. It’s the only bullets I have in the gun.  It’s my only meager offering and it is simple. 


Totally go for the P-word and do it ASAP! This all can be saved, but it will take a little more than just 9 innings a night.  

And finally, despite what others might tell you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this path. The panic path has served those that deserve it well. Based on last year’s Red Sox performance, no one deserves it more.

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