Maybe you remember my mailbag from mid-September that included this e-mail exchange about Tedy Bruschi: Q: Does anything about this Tedy Bruschi-on-the-sidelines routine smell funny? Doesn't this seem like a WWE-style ploy by Belichick? What if we get to the first round of the playoffs, with the Pats on the road, and they need a lift? Wouldn't the triumphant return of Bruschi be the spark they need to get the three-peat? Couldn't the Pats hire Jim Ross for the night, just to have a "Good God, that's Tedy Bruschi's music!" moment?
-- Bart Shirley, Dallas SG: Loved the idea, but I think you screwed up the timeline. Bruschi is eligible to be activated after Week Six. Realistically, he could scrimmage in all the closed practices without anyone knowing, and then emerge from the tunnel during that Week 9 game against the Colts at Foxboro, which, in my opinion, would be the single most exciting moment in Patriots history if it happened -- even better than both Super Bowl kicks -- as well as football's first Willis Reed moment. The Colts would be finished. D-U-N done. I'm getting the chills just thinking about it.
Flash-forward to this morning: the CBS affiliate in Boston reports that Bruschi will return to the practice field within the next three weeks. I'm not saying anything else because I don't want to jinx it. Also, I received a barrage of e-mails from the Pacific Northwest yesterday, so I might have to make it out there this month (didn't realize there were so many Boston transplants out there). Here was my favorite e-mail though: Yo, Bill, come to Portland, we have a six-foot bong with your name on it!
--Sincerely, the Portland Trail Blazers All right, I made that up. But we'll figure out something. In the mean time, here's the tentative schedule for the next two weeks. I broke it up a little bit so it didn't destroy my column schedule like the last trip did: Tuesday, October 18: San Francisco
Borders (Mission Bay) -- 6:00 PM Comments: My favorite city other than Boston. Really looking forward to this one. Wednesday, October 19: Aurora, CO
Borders (Aurora) -- 6:00 PM Comments: Not sure how many people will show up for this one -- I'm a little worried. This has Spinal Tap potential. Friday, October 21: San Diego
Borders Mission Valley -- 6:00 PM Comments: Thinly veiled excuse to drive down to San Diego that morning and take my daughter to the Zoo. What's a consistently funnier dynamic than the monkey cage? Have you ever had a bad time watching apes/monkeys/baboons/orangutans interact? Tuesday, October 25: Los Angeles
Borders (Westwood) -- 6:00 PM Comments: We wanted to do the giant Barnes and Noble at the Grove as well but couldn't work it out. Maybe in December. Wednesday, October 26: Santa Monica
Sonny McLean's -- 6:00 PM Comments: This is tentative -- details to come next week. We might push it to Thursday since that would be the one-year anniversary of World Series Sweep/Lunar Eclipse Night. As for the Portland/Seattle swing, I'm aiming for November to time it with a Blazers and/or Sonics game ... stay tuned.