Nine Innings with Kevin Leighton
Nine Innings with Neil McPhee
By Phil Stanton
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
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.
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
Fifth Inning – As the season progressed, did
you think New England was strong enough defensively to reach the
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?
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