Tale of 2 nations

THE LIGHTER SIDE

Who's better, Red Sox or Patriots?

The Kickoff

October 30, 2007|By Bill Ordine | Bill Ordine,Sun reporter

I don't think I'm being Paul Revere here in bringing you news of the Red Sox's World Series sweep of Colorado or the undefeated Patriots' 52-7 trouncing of Washington. In fact, Boston's outrageously successful teams have been so good, there might be only one meaningful sports debate: Which is the better team, the BoSox or the Pats (we'll worry about the Colts game later).

Team numbers

Red Sox: Tied for the major leagues' best regular-season record but had the best run differential, outscoring the opposition by 210 runs. In the Series, they led the Rockies for 30 of 36 innings.

Patriots: 8-0 so far, best in the NFL, have outscored the opposition 331-127, and out of 480 minutes of playing time they have trailed for just 18 minutes.

Advantage: Red Sox (only because there's a World Series involved).

Best arm

Red Sox: Josh Beckett. Regular season - 20-7. Postseason - 4-0, 1.20 ERA.

Patriots: Tom Brady. 30 touchdown passes, 2,431 yards, 74.2 percent completion rate.

Advantage: Patriots' Brady. No one has ever had a season like this.

Big hitter

Red Sox: David Ortiz. .332 in regular season, 35 HRs, 117 RBIs; .370 in postseason, three HRs, 10 RBIs.

Patriots: Mike Vrabel. 7 1/2 sacks, five forced fumbles, two TD receptions.

Advantage: Patriots (big hitter is more versatile).

Ball chaser

Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury. Ninth-inning catch kept potential tying run off base Sunday night. Also won America a free taco with second-game stolen base.

Patriots: Randy Moss. 47 catches, 11 TDs.

Advantage: On sheer numbers, it would be the Patriots, but we're giving it to the Red Sox for taco giveaway.

Old guy who can still bring it

Red Sox: Curt Schilling. 40 years old. Only 9-8 in regular season but 3-0 in postseason.

Patriots: Junior Seau. 38 years old. 33 tackles, three interceptions, also plays offense on goal line.

Advantage: Tough call. Both probably going to Hall of Fame. Slight edge to Red Sox because of postseason and bloody sock history.

Celebration dance

Red Sox: Jonathan Papelbon. Riverdance.

Patriots: No one. NFL has legislated joy into oblivion.

Advantage: Red Sox, by default.

Button pusher

Red Sox: Terry Francona. Two World Series titles for a team that hadn't won one since the Armistice.

Patriots: Bill Belichick. Three Super Bowls.

Advantage: Tie. Numbers may go to Pats, but Red Sox button-pusher eminently more likable.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

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