Sports gluttons feast on games this Patriot’s Day

Posted April 24, 2009, at 7:16 p.m.

If you are bone-idle, it was like Thanksgiving Day.

You probably don’t even know that Patriot’s Day commemorates the battles at Concord and Lexington, the first guerrilla action that sparked the American Revolution.

The meaning of the holiday has been lost in an orgy of 11 a.m. baseball with a concurrent marathon, then concurrent hockey and basketball playoff games.

It’s kind of like New Year’s Day when football rules the television (at least mine) from noon to midnight.

The sports gluttons among us actually complained when the Boston Marathon kicked off from Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday morning without live coverage. I assumed that ESPN or one of its subchannels would have carried the sweaty extravaganza.

But no.

Gluttons had to settle for periodic updates during the Red Sox game, which started at brunch time, as part of the holiday celebration. This was acceptable since the BoSox finally woke up their slumbering offense, and even the lumbering David Ortiz legged out a triple (the ball should have been caught) and the Sox won 12-1.

That was just the start.

Finally, television coverage from the laggard ESPN told us that an Ethiopian (naturally) named Deriba Merga won the grueling 26-mile race in 2:08:42, followed by a Kenyan (naturally) named Daniel Rono.

Those of us who find the long walk to the refrigerator an Olympic event just cannot fathom how anyone, even an Ethiopian, can run 26 miles in 2:08:42, or two days or two weeks.

The gluttons watched all of the post-baseball game shows and the highlights on NESN, then ESPN. At 5 p.m., it is time for The Sports Reporters, then Pardon the Interruption starring my personal favorite, Tony Kornheiser.

With a brief respite for dinner and a glass of Yellow Tail chardonnay, it was time for the pre-game shows for the Celtics and Bruins games.

Naturally, an April night in Maine can lead to near-freezing temperatures and a crucial decision to either light the wood stove or turn up the (gasp) thermostat. I rejected both options and fled to my bed, which is covered by a glorious comforter.

The simultaneous hockey and basketball games were not enough for my attention deficit disorder, so I brought my computer to bed with me.

In between e-mails, Facebook and Amazon.com book reviews, I would switch between the Celtics and Bruins as the night progressed and I finally got warm. I don’t follow hockey much at all until the playoffs, but even I could tell that the Montreal Canadiens were headed for their third straight loss.

The Celtics, a team that is much too close to my heart, were having a terrible time with the upstart Chicago Bulls. Before the playoffs, the only Bull I was familiar with was Joakim Noah, the ponytailed graduate of Florida who won several NCAA championships. I was about to become frighteningly familiar with Ben Gordon (42 points) and Derrick Rose (36 points the game before).

I am such a weenie that when the Celtics lost the lead, I would switch to the Bruins pounding the Canadiens.

If you have a drop of Irish blood, you are riddled with superstition. Mine is that my teams do better when I don’t watch them. Go ahead and laugh. I can put them (Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics — pick one) back in the lead by turning them off.

The Bruins scored an empty-net goal by someone named Chuck Kobasew, and I had to switch back to the Celtics. That damned Gordon scored again with 12 seconds left to tie the game at 115-115. I bravely watched the final 12 seconds when Ray Allen sank a three-pointer and concluded the evening’s entertainment.

Then, of course, the sports glutton had to watch the post-game shows on both NESN and ESPN.

After a marathon, three Boston wins and a grateful night’s sleep, it was time to get up, read the papers for post-game coverage and back to ESPN for even more clips and interviews.

What a great holiday — if you are bone-idle.

Send complaints and compliments to Emmet Meara at emmetmeara@msn.com.

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