Baltimore Ravens defeat New England Patriots, 33-14

In the middle of the 1976 baseball season, when newly acquired outfielder Bobby Darwin walked into the Red Sox clubhouse, he was greeted by Dwight Evans, who told him, “You’re going to enjoy playing in the Classic.’’

“What Classic is that?’’ Darwin wondered.

“The Fall Classic,’’ explained Evans. “The World Series.’’

Dewey was only 24 years old, but he’d already starred in one of the greatest World Series ever played. In his youthful innocence, Evans assumed that ...

Punching in
During an injury-plagued, up-and-down season, the high-profile Brady has shown more toughness and grit than glamour, working hard to get the Patriots back to the playoffs

By Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff | January 10, 2010

There was nothing glamorous about this Tom Brady. This wasn’t the guy hounded by the paparazzi on TMZ.com, starring in Stetson cologne ads, or performing an impossibly well-coiffured workout to hawk “electrolyte-enhanced’’ smart...

Disaster had always stayed foreign to these Patriots, some evil force that only other teams needed worry about. They might not win. They would never collapse and embarrass themselves. They would never let five minutes unravel their entire season.

And then today came, and the Baltimore Ravens swaggered into Gillette Stadium, and disaster struck. They allowed a touchdown on the first snap. Their crowd booed them. Tom Brady crumbled. In their first playoff game of the new ...

On game days, Stephen Gostkowski casts himself as an observer.

“I’m just a fan of the game,’’ he said, “until it crosses the 50.’’

The passivity, like everything about the routine Gostkowski has honed as the Patriots’ kicker, is purposeful. He wants to ward off any thoughts about kicking, uplifting or nasty, until his time to act draws near.

Gostkowski rises above the many stresses that yank at any kicker by ignoring them.

“I don’t worry about getting cut,’’ he...