Feb. 1, 2012

Nine Innings with Kevin Leighton

Nine Innings with Neil McPhee

Nine Innings with Brett Boretti

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com  @RoadToOmaha


This week, we are going to have head coaches from New York and Boston give their thoughts on Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Giants and the Patriots.


Today we continue with Brett Boretti, who is in his sixth year at Columbia. The school is located in New York City, but Boretti is a New England Patriots fan. Boretti arrived at Columbia in the summer of 2005 and has led the Lions to a pair of Gehrig Division titles. Columbia won the 2008 Ivy League championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years.


Boretti played and coached at Davidson before spending two years as an assistant at Brown. He was head coach at Franklin & Marshall for five seasons before coming to Columbia.


Boretti gives us his perspective on the AFC Champion, the New England Patriots.


First Inning – How did a Patriots fan end up at Columbia?

I actually had never been to New York City until I interviewed for this job. I am from Beverly, Mass. - and a lifelong Boston sports fan.

Second Inning – Did you have a favorite Patriot while you were growing up?

Sam Bam Cunningham - that guy used to jump over everyone on the goal line. Steve Nelson, John Hannah and of course Steve Grogan were the three best players on the Pats when I was growing up.

Third Inning – Are there more Giants fans or Patriots fans on your team and staff?

Pete Maki, our assistant coach, is a Pats and Sox fan. We have a lot of Pats and Red Sox fans on the team. I recruit the Boston area specifically for that reason.

Fourth Inning – We know that gambling is not allowed in the NCAA. Has anyone proposed any interesting wagers on the Super Bowl that you had to decline? Any threats from Giants fans?

My players have wanted to bet their conditioning in practice, but I told them either way it won't work out well for them. I have been flying a Patriots flag outside my home every Sunday- and I get some horn beeps from drivers- but no threats.


Fifth Inning – As the season progressed, did you think New England was strong enough defensively to reach the Super Bowl?

I thought with their schedule, their offense could carry the team to the playoffs regardless of what their defense did. Now in the playoffs, I think the defense has already stepped up and won the game versus Baltimore and will need a huge effort on Sunday to win the game. I have confidence in Vince Wilfork manhandling the Giants offensive line like he did against the Ravens.


Sixth Inning – Who on your team would make the best Patriot or Giant, and what position would he play?

Alex Aurrichio (6'6") is a HUGE Giants fan. I think Eli would rather throw to him than Ballard.

Seventh Inning – Which player from the Giants do you fear most?

Jason Pierre Paul - his arms are longer than Kevin McHale’s. I think he might be in Brady's face a lot.


Eighth Inning – Why will the Patriots win?

Because they are going to run the ball very well. I think BenJarvus Green-Ellis is going to have a huge game and they will keep the ball out of Manning's hands. Plus Bill Belichick is the best big-game coach in the NFL and Robert Kraft is a Columbia grad.

Ninth Inning – What will the final score be?

24-21 Pats.

Extra Innings – What should we expect from the Columbia Lions this season?

The staff and players are excited about the season ahead and the opportunity to compete at a high level. Our goal is to win the Ivy League every year. We have a motivated and talented group that will work as hard as we can to accomplish our goal.


(photos courtesy of Columbia Media Relations Office)