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FARINELLA: 'It's been a great week in Boston' - The Sun Chronicle : Patriots

FARINELLA: 'It's been a great week in Boston'

Patriots honor Red Sox Series win in ceremony prior to notable victory against Steelers

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Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 12:20 am

It seemed only fitting that, as Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester spoke to an assembly of football media in the Gillette Stadium press box Sunday, the Patriots were marching goalward toward what appeared at the time to be one of their many scores.

OK, so they didn't score on that particular possession. It didn't take long thereafter. And since the game was already one of those rare occasions when sports worlds collide, it was only fitting that the Patriots would do something memorable - such as score more points in a game than anyone ever has against the Pittsburgh Steelers - to cap what has already been one of the more memorable weeks in Boston sports.

The Patriots won Sunday's game by a 55-31 score, improving to 7-2 at their bye week, and even the dour Bill Belichick suggested that positive karma may have been drawn from the appearance of 10 members of the World Series champions and their trophy before the game.

"I'm not exactly sure how it all happened today," Belichick said of the lopsided victory, "but maybe we got our inspiration from the Red Sox."

"It's been a great week in Boston," added quarterback Tom Brady (who, many years earlier, had been drafted by the Montreal Expos as a catcher). "As a sports fan I'm enjoying it, and it was fun to see the players out there. They earned it, and that's why you play, to get that trophy."

For Lester, who won two games in the six-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, running through the Patriots' inflatable tunnel onto the field before 68,756 appreciative fans was certainly a rush.

"Obviously it's something we don't get to do too often," the big left-hander said. "I can see why those guys get so amped up to run out of that tunnel. It was an awesome experience, and I'm glad I got to be a part of it, glad I stuck around for an extra day to be a part of this."

Lester navigated his assignment for Sunday's game flawlessly, just as impressively as his performances from the mound in Games 1 and 5 of the Series. He cradled the heavy trophy in his arms and walked through the long tunnel (not sprinting, as teammate Jonny Gomes did) to stand next to Patriots' owner Robert Kraft for the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

It might have been a bigger challenge than mowing down the Cardinals, in fact.

"(It was) nerve-wracking," Lester said. "I didn't want to drop it. You don't realize how far 50 yards is until you walk it with the trophy. But it was pretty cool."

Many members of the Red Sox have already started to filter back to their homes across the nation following Saturday's duck boat parade through the streets of Boston. That parade included a heart-wrenching stop at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where homemade pressure-cooker bombs went off in April and people were killed or maimed senselessly. That act of domestic terrorism became a rallying point for not only the Red Sox and the city of Boston, but for practically everyone that witnessed the unthinkable unfolding on their television screens.

But amid the deeper emotions, there is also room for a more simple enjoyment of the feat - especially for Lester, a cancer survivor, who said that his maturation between the 2007 championship and this one has resulted in a different appreciation of what he had his teammate accomplished

"Like I've kind of said from Day One of this whole deal, in '07 I didn't get to enjoy it as much as this year," Lester said. "Just different circumstances, different age, different maturity level and all that. For me to be able to do stuff like this today, I'm in a different part of my career.

"If this had been '07, I probably wouldn't have been asked to do something like this," he said. "And it was a big difference taking a couple of extra days to stay in Boston to enjoy it and be around these guys (the Patriots) and the fans."

Once upon a time, professional teams in different sports tended not to mingle at all. But in the opening decades of the 21st century, a cross-pollination of sorts has taken place in Boston. It's OK for the four major-sports teams to not only acknowledge the accomplishments of the others, but also to embrace them and even emulate them.

"Absolutely," said Lester. "I know it's cool for us when these guys show up at Fenway when they win, and the Celtics and the Bruins the same thing. I think we spend so much time up here, and a lot of the football guys live here, so I think it's like home for them. So you end up rooting for your hometown team.

"It's awesome to be a part of this, and we thank these guys for inviting us over here and giving us a chance to experience this," he added.

MARK FARINELLA may be reached at 508-236-0315 or via email at mfarinel@thesunchronicle.com. Read Farinella's blog, "Blogging Fearlessly," at thesunchronicle.com/blogs/markfarinella.

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