Sunday’s television schedule was rife with nine hours of promise, bubbling with the possibility of happiness and heartbreak.
At 1 p.m., quarterback Tom Brady made his triumphant return from suspension, setting all things right in Patriots universe. Later, the do-or-die Red Sox game against the Cleveland Indians was postponed because of inclement weather. And all the while, another storm of controversy rocked the political world, making Sunday night’s presidential debate in St. Louis a must-see spectacle.
So how were Bay Staters handling the overload of news? With cheesy bread, preferably.
“This day was designed for some Domino’s,” said Shawn Flanagan of Plymouth. “The best part is that these broadcasts don’t overlap with each other. It will just be eight or nine hours where you don’t have to leave your couch — the dream Sunday.”
Flanagan, 23, was not alone in his wishes for inactivity. The postponed Red Sox game and rainy weather put a slight damper on the festivities, but in Dracut, Dotty McGarry refused to be deterred.
Comfy sweats: check.
Plenty of snacks: check.
Now comes the hard part, she said.
“I just might have a heart attack before the end of this day,” McGarry said. “I am very weary from this long, unprecedented election process.”
Sara Lapomarda of Dorchester was the opposite of weary. At Coppersmith in South Boston, at a Patriots-themed watch party called “Brady Brunch,” Lapomarda was the life of an already lively gathering.
In the morning, Lapomarda said she left voice mails with three of her friends, imploring them to “rise and shine” because Brady was back taking snaps.
“In an atmosphere like this, you got to be excited!” Lapomarda said.
Her logic made sense. Brady’s return had conjured up a jovial New Year’s Eve-like feeling among Patriots fans, who are happy to put the prospect of Julian Edelman playing quarterback behind them.
In the Red Sox cancellation, baseball fans such as Caroline Strauss, a 20-year-old from Medway, tried to see a silver lining.
Having the Patriots and Red Sox games and a presidential debate on the same day was “a little overwhelming,” Strauss said, and now Sox fans get an additional 24 hours of belief.
“At first, I was going through a crisis,” Strauss said of all of Sunday’s appointment television. “Now, it’s a mix of excitement but also nervousness.”
Strauss, a junior at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, said some of those fears are not sports related, but political. On Friday, a recording of Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, making sexually vulgar and demeaning remarks, sent shock waves through the political sphere. Former allies called on Trump to drop out the race, and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, described Trump’s words as “horrific.”
With Clinton and Trump’s second debate scheduled just two days after the recording was made public, Strauss and others said they were looking forward to the debate as if it were a sports matchup or reality television show.
At this point, somewhat shockingly, a presidential debate is just as unpredictable as playoff baseball, Strauss said.
“I mean, how can he respond?” wondered Strauss. “It’s turned from something very serious into this character battle. There’s this reality TV element to it.”
Heather Hanson, of Waltham, agreed. She is no Patriots fan, but at Coppersmith in South Boston, she romped it up with Lapomarda. Anything to keep her mind off the looming debate, Hanson said.
“Everything is just so crazy right now and people need an escape,” Hanson said, though she promised to watch.
A few blocks over, at an apartment on West Broadway, three self-proclaimed coach potatoes were arriving at a similar conclusion. Everything about the unique Sunday, from the high-pressure sports games to the intense political debate at night, called for a restful day.
Chris Fulenwider, 25, watched the Patriots game and monitored his fantasy sports teams.
Brien Bates, 25, and Keith Baer, 24, both of Wellesley, talked casually about the chances of a Red Sox comeback. The roommates debated about what food to order in advance the night’s festivities.
On the big-screen television in front of them, Brady threw another touchdown pass.
“Buffalo wings,” said Bates.
“Barbecue,” Baer responded.
In a day of laziness, a rare tough choice.Astead W. Herndon
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AsteadWH.