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Weekend review: New Sox manager, XFL is awesome and more!

The XFL is really fun. The 2020 version of Vince McMahon’s dream of a spring football league might actually work. It’s only one week, but something like this needs momentum. That’s something the AAF never had a year ago and it folded before St. Patrick ’s Day.

The XFL needed something to build on and it got it. Solid to good football, inventive new rules like the 1, 2 or 3 point extra try, odd looking kick offs and a broadcast that will see pieces stolen by the NFL.

I never thought I’d enjoy watching Jim Zorn calls plays this much, but it was great! Hearing the communication from the coach to the QB and the process of instant replay (which they have on every play) made the lulls in the game much more interesting. Not that the games dragged on, with a 25 second play clock, the action was fast moving.

These are the doldrums of the sporting calendar, baseball hasn’t started, March Madness is a month away, the Azaleas aren’t in bloom yet in Augusta and its more than two months away until the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock. The XFL will dominate February, and win in March, but in the second half of their season, will people remember them in April? Time will tell.

Highlight of the weekend was the Duke-UNC game. As an ardent Dukie, the game is must see every year. Even in this season when the Tar Heels are as bad as either team has been since 1995, they delivered a classic.

The most evenly matched rivalry in sports, the last 100 games before Saturday, saw the two schools tied 50-50 with the exact same amount of points scored. Saturday night saw the Blue Devils overcome a late double digit deficit to somehow force overtime with a buzzer beater from Tre Jones. (Jones is the rarest thing in college basketball: A SOPHOMORE!) Only to see Duke do it again in OT when Wendell Moore “Lorenzo Charles’d” an air ball at the buzzer to set off the crazies that reside at the other end of Tobacco road. College basketball is down this year: no dominant teams, no dominant players, but the ACC”s Blue Bloods never cease to amaze.

Ron Roenicke. Ron freaking Roenicke. In a week that saw the Red Sox trade their greatest player and their number two starter for an old rosin bag and a cracked fungo, the fanbase needed a boost. Boy did they miss when in a late Friday news dump, word got out that the Red Sox planned to hire the most tapioca flavor to be their new manager.

Want to fire up the troops? Ron Roenicke. Want to make people forget about sign stealing scandals? Hire the bench coach!

They say don’t make emotional decisions, but if ever there was a time for one, it’s right now. The franchise needs something and a manager who had a .508 winning percentage in Milwaukee isn’t going to do it. Not even the Benintendi extension could jostle Sox fans from the stupor of the past week.

Thank goodness for the XFL.

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