The folks over at ESPN have some serious man-love for anything wearing silver, red, and blue. When reading, listening to, or watching anything about the NFL on ESPN, it’s apparent that they just can’t seem to kiss enough Patriot ass. ESPN released it’s “All Decade” team which in turn, turns out to be nothing short of a homage to their favorite team.
Perhaps maybe it’s because the Patriots are a short drive from Bristol, CT and the fact that it’s too easy to revel in the NY. Giants and too scary to support the Jets. The Bills are up in NY but would you really rally around the Bills? Of course not. Having a 3 time Super Bowl Champion and 5 time AFC Championship representative in your backyard makes it so much easier to focus only on them.
In ESPN’s “All-Decade” team, honors were doled out to HC Bill Belichick and Tom Brady as the best of the NFL. The team of course the best of the decade. Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor was a victor as one of the best defenders of the decade…and ESPN was quick to point out that Jason Taylor sacked Tom Brady more than anyone. Almost as if to say, “if you can get to Brady you must be great!”
At the bottom of their Patriot homage, found here, they touch, ever so briefly, the argument against the Patriots because of “Spygate”.
Some Patriots critics still scoff at their success because of the Spygate scandal, one of the biggest NFL stories of the decade. Belichick was turned in for illegally videotaping opponents’ defensive signals. The NFL fined him and stripped the Patriots of a first-round draft pick.
I’m not sure why this is so unimportant to the crews over at ESPN. This was the first incident in NFL history where a team was docked a first round pick and fined for blatant cheating. It was such a black mark on the game that the Commissioner destroyed the tapes in question forever putting more doubt on the subject. Did the Patriots tape the Rams? Did they tape the teams they faced in the playoffs? How often did they tape other teams? It doesn’t matter if you support the Patriots as a fan or not, it’s a valid and legitimate question that has to be addressed…and in more ways than the blurb above.
To be fair, the article does talk a tad more on the subject in the subsequent paragraph.
“If you’re naïve to believe that helped him win a Super Bowl, you’re kidding yourself. I don’t believe that,” said Edwards, who on one of the tapes submitted into evidence could be seen waving to the Patriots’ cameras.
Call me foolish here, but that alone almost backs up my assertions that ESPN is a love-fest haven for the Patriots. A comment on the subject from Herm Edwards who “works” at ESPN…when he himself was waving to the cameras. So yes he knows they did it as well…but apparently that doesn’t matter.
I will not take away the fact that the Patriots won 3 Super Bowls and appeared in 5 AFC Championship games. They did. It’s a fact you can easily look it up. The question as to whether they cheated to obtain those victories is not only fact, but at the same time debatable as to the extent that it actually helped them.
To me, the best coach in the NFL for the past decade is Tony Dungy. While he doesn’t hold the rings that Belichick does, he has a better winning percentage. While he may not have the Super Bowl trophies that Belichick does, he still has his class and his pride.
The argument can also be made against Tom Brady when compared to the likes of Peyton Manning who’s passing numbers were much better than Tom Brady’s. Again, ESPN puts the onus of their decision clearly on the number of trophies that were won.
I am not some bitter Dolphins’ fan hating on the Patriots, I would rather piss on the NY Jets logo than bash the Patriots. Still, facts are facts and they are hard to ignore no matter where it comes from…obviously that does not include the folks at ESPN. It will be interesting to see where they turn when the Patriots are no longer “these” Patriots.
I don’t agree with their “All Decade” team and I suppose that is the point of having one at all. I’m not alone in my opinion. Pete Rose bet on baseball…and he is serving his sentence. Whether you believe it is just or unjust is not the point. Bill Belichick cheated in football and still gets accolades for his coaching ability. He may have been one of the best coaches to ever walk the sidelines, but instead, their will be an asterisk next to his name, a hole in his wallet from the fine, and a never ending question as to how they actually used their tapes.
The Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL, that has been proven year in and year out. There is little to dispute that other than the whole “Spygate” issue and had that not ever happened, there would be no discussion at all. Still you have to account for that. You have to consider it. At ESPN, they never consider anything that looks down towards the Patriots.
They wrap up the article like this:
It also should be noted the Patriots went 18-1, nearly pulling off the NFL’s first unblemished season since the Dolphins did it in 1972, after the Spygate mess.
About 30 other NFL franchises wish they could fail like that.
Once again, they fail to mention that the one game they lost was the only game in the entire season that mattered. In fact, you can ask any coach, any player, any team in history from the ’72 Miami Dolphins to the 0-16 Detroit Lions and every single one of them will tell you that losing one game in a season would be great…provided the one game wasn’t the last one.
Sorry Bristol, No NFL team wishes they could fail like that.