Yogi Berra's famous aphorism, "It ain't over till it's over," was never truer Sunday, when the Boston faithful saw both their beloved Patriots and Red Sox pull off amazing, come-from-behind victories snatched from the jaws of what appeared to be certain defeats - one of the greatest days to be a sports fan in New England.
First up, in the afternoon football game, were the Pats, trailing the previously unbeaten New Orleans Saints, 27-24, in the fourth quarter.
A mighty groan rose up from the multitudes when New England quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception with a little more than two minutes to go, and all the Saints had to do was run out the clock. But New Orleans was forced to punt and New England got the ball back on their own 30, 1:13 on the clock and no timeouts.
Thousands of dispirited fans had made for the exits at Gillette Stadium, and they wound up missing one of the team's most astonishing comebacks - three quick passes, capped by a 17-yard touchdown bullet to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds to go. Final score: 30-27, Patriots.
The roar had barely died down an hour or so later when baseball fans packed Fenway Park 30 miles away, where the Red Sox were taking on the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. Still miserable from Saturday night's 1-0 loss, the Sox dug themselves into an even deeper hole and trailed 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth when David Ortiz lumbered to the plate, the bags filled.
Bam! One swing and Big Papi drove the ball into the bullpen for a game-tying grand slam, and Fenway exploded in a joy that became even more delirious an inning later when Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled home Jonny Gomes for the walk-off, 6-5 victory.
Let this be a lesson to those non-believers who prematurely exit football stadiums or baseball parks, or click off television sets. Even for Boston fans accustomed to wild comebacks, these two contests were breathtaking, and those who stuck them out witnessed games for the ages.
The Pats may not win the Super Bowl and the Red Sox may not win the World Series this season, but their fans will always have Oct. 13, 2013.
The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.
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