The city of Boston owes its vast sports success of the 21st century to Tom Brady and David Ortiz. While the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox won their championships with many stars, Brady and Ortiz are the iconic figures of this golden age for Boston sports. But on Oct. 13, these two legends delivered their greatest 1-2 punch of all, by saving the Patriots and Red Sox within a few hours.
The Patriots were on the verge of a second straight loss and some huge doubts about this season, until Brady rose from nowhere to lead a last-minute drive over the New Orleans Saints. But a few hours later, Ortiz resurrected the Red Sox from an even worse fate, as his eighth-inning grand slam tied Game 2 of the ALCS, and led Boston to tie the ALCS with the Detroit Tigers an inning later.
Before Brady started his last drive, the Patriots were down by 27-23, had gone four-and-out and thrown an interception in their past two drives, and had given up 17-7 and 23-17 leads in the second half. Yet with just five completions, including a fourth-and-four conversion and a touchdown to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds left, Brady erased all those missteps.
Before Ortiz came to bat in the eighth inning, the Red Sox were down by 5-1, had just three hits in the first 16 innings of the ALCS, and seemed destined to get swept from the postseason. Yet with one bases loaded slam to right field, Ortiz erased the Red Sox’s offensive woes and made their victory in the ninth inevitable.
Brady and Ortiz are both in the final stretches of their careers, with questionable windows open for one more championship. The Patriots still have a depleted receiving core and are probably the worst 5-1 team in the NFL, while the Red Sox remain punch less against the Tigers’ starting pitchers and still must face Justin Verlander in Game 3.
As hard as the Patriots and Red Sox’s roads still are, they would have been hopeless if not for these rallies. Oct. 13 could have been one of the worst days in Boston sports history, but the two men who have given Boston its greatest days gave it one more big ending. And if the Patriots and Red Sox both have parades afterwards, the day and its stars will become even more legendary.