Babbling Bostonian: Babbling asks for three-week hiatus

Please excuse Justin from all academic requirements for the next three weeks as he and the Boston Red Sox embark upon a long, tiring journey to the promised land. You may be hesitant at first to heed this request, but you must understand that a higher being is at work here. The playoffs are a holy mission, one that Justin will learn much from. After this journey, Justin will be a new person with a new perspective on life. When he returns, he will be mentally, physically and spiritually drained, but when he regains his full strength, he will be a significantly stronger person, ready to tackle all obstacles in his way.

Thank you for your cooperation. Although I will not be able to reward you for your assistance, I will promise you this: When you die, on your deathbed, as the Dalai Llama in “Caddyshack” said, “you will receive total consciousness.”

-The Big Guy

Now, if you were a professor, how would you react to receiving a letter like this? Sure, you’d be a little freaked out and a little hesitant to grant an average student like myself three weeks of immunity from school work, but you would consider it, right? In addition, I’m a senior, only a few months away from graduation. It’s not my fault that the God picked this year for the Red Sox to win the World Series. Why should I be punished for bad timing? I think I’m making a legitimate case here!

If this were Amherst, Neb., and I was just some random student who wanted to be excused from class because of the baseball playoffs, then obviously my request would be outrageous, but I’m the Babbling Bostonian!

I can drive to Fenway Park in about 30 minutes from my house. I’ve been to the sketchy basement bowling alley around the corner from the park. I’ve stood on Lansdowne Street after a game and admired the drunken fans. I’ve watched Johnny Pesky (of Pesky’s Pole fame) hit fungoes before games. I loved Wade Boggs. I remember that Nick Esasky hit 30 home runs in 1989 and then never hit another. I’ve sat everywhere in Fenway Park: the bleachers in center, the luxury boxes, the new dugout seats, the skyboxes in right and even the .406 (600) Club (still working on the Monster seats).

I’m not saying that I’m the biggest or most hardcore Red Sox fan. In fact, I bet there are thousands of people who know more than I do and have experienced more than I have. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So please, if any professors are reading this, give your students a break for the next three weeks. Many of them probably feel the same way I do.

Undefeated today

Five undefeated teams remain in the National Football League: Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Seahawks, Falcons. Of those five teams, only two are worthy of their undefeated status, the Patriots and Eagles. The others are phonies, teams that are undefeated, but ready to lose.

The scary thing about the Jets is that they will most likely arrive in New England on Oct. 24 with a 5-0 record. With the winless Bills and 49ers on the schedule next, the Jets should win two cakewalks. Assuming the Patriots stay on their current tear, it might be the first time in NFL history that two 5-0 teams meet in a game with a spread of more than 10 points. If you must gamble on that game, what do you do? There’s got to be a law against betting against a 5-0 team when that team is a 10-point underdog.

The Seahawks could probably go in either category. Their offense is very dangerous and their defense has been surprisingly decent. This is a legitimate playoff team-not one that can win the Super Bowl-but one that could cause some problems for the Eagles down the road.

At 4-0, the Falcons are just fooling themselves. Sure the defense is solid and Michael Vick is fun to watch, but if you were in the playoffs down five points with two minutes left, would you want Vick leading your team down the field? I didn’t think so.

RIP John Cerutti

On Sunday, former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher John Cerutti died in his hotel room. He was 44 years old. Cerutti, a current Jays television announcer, spent seven years in the big leagues, six with Toronto and one with Detroit. His career record of 49-43 was modest, but respectable.

A first-round pick by the Blue Jays in 1981, Cerutti graduated from Amherst College in the spring of 1982. He spent three years in the minors before making his major league debut on Sept. 1, 1985. Cerutti is survived by his wife and three children. “He had three loves. He loved baseball. He loved golf and he loved his family,” said Rick Briggs-Jude, the vice president of programming at Sportsnet, (the company he was working for), to ESPN.

“The overwhelming quality with John was his enthusiasm and passion for the game,” said Don Peppin, senior producer of Blue Jays telecasts on CBC, in a press release. “He had a truly cerebral attitude in a world where that isn’t necessarily the norm. He had the gift of the gab. He could talk, debate, but it wasn’t always about baseball. He had an inquiring mind and could connect with people at every level. He was seriously interested in what was going on in people’s lives.”