There was a time that in reality was not so long ago that I actually liked the Patriots. O.k. let me rephrase that. There was a time when the Patriots were not my most despised team in the AFC East. I have always disliked the Jets and the Bills were always good for a good ribbing and nothing spells loser like “Because I like losing SuperBowls”. Then there were the lovable losers of New England. I felt sorry for them, the team and the fans. So, instead of writing another laundry list of what went wrong with week 1 and another continual barb throwing session at Ted Ginn…I thought why not take another shot at the freaking Patriots.
I spent a few years living outside of Boston and I will say this, it’s one of the most beautiful places I have been. The history alone is incredible. Unfortunately, the people are not very enjoyable. In New England there is an attitude that one only needs to look towards the antics of the late Ted Kennedy to understand. How that guy stayed in office as long as he did is beyond me. And that is New England.
Not all are like that and I would never insinuate that they are. Plenty of my friends currently live in the New England states and are perfectly enjoyable to talk to. The rest however, not so much. It was interesting living up there and going to school with a bunch of sad little kids. I lived on a base but went to a public school so I was not a local and therefore not accepted by the normal mass. Which was perfectly fine by me. I loved being a Dolphins fan way back then because simply put, I could wear my Dolphins T-shirts with pride after every single New England Patriots loss. I could also wear my “T” with pride every time the Dolphins lost…because unlike the Patriots, it wasn’t the norm.
Jumping over a couple of decades I find myself staring at a team that I no longer respect, or for that matter admire. I loved the class that the New England Patriots exuded for all those years with Steve Grogan at the helm and even still with Tony Eason. Hell I even found myself watching with Doug Flutie. Not as a fan but because in the AFC East there were two teams with class and two teams that had none. Easy to figure that out. It was a respectful rivalry.
The change in the attitude of New England and especially New England fans is easy to spell out. B. E. L. I. C. H. I. C. K. He changed that team. His approach to the game was not one of class but instead more of a thumb to the nose of those who had built traditions in the NFL. With his attitude came a disdain for the media…and they love him for it. It amazes me to this day that a man could fail so miserably in Cleveland, take a job with the NY Jets and quit a day later, return to the Patriots and all of a sudden find un-paralleled success. Yet, the media seems to overlook the questions because no one has the answers.
This is not about Bill and his camera work or another stab at “Spygate” or anything else about their Super Bowl victories…or their HUGE SUPER BOWL LOSS, no, this is about the media who for reasons I can’t begin to imagine, are so in love with these pompous asses and their fans who support them. I mean seriously, does anyone have any dignity in New England? I know of one Patriots fan who I met years ago on a forum that has a load of class and I know a few others who at least try and view what goes on in NE with some degree of reality.
There are two things that got me started on this, this morning. The New England win over Buffalo and the fine that was handed down to the New York Jets today. It was then that I realized just how much the media kisses the rear ends of Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick. What I honestly can’t wait for is the day that the media finally turns on them and their fans. I can’t wait to listen to them whine…and believe me they will. Then, they will move on to another sport and the Patriots, the losers they will again someday be, will be their afterthought.
On Monday night the Bills shocked a lot of people when they came mere minutes away from beating the anointed 2009 AFC East Champions. The game was not about the Bills Vs. Patriots, it was about the return of God’s other son, Tom Brady. The golden boy with the golden arm and the model wife. Monday’s game was all about Tom Brady.
You didn’t have to go far to hear about it. Leading up to the game, pre-game shows talked about the Patriots being unstoppable because Brady was back. The last time Brady played a full game let alone a full quarter was in the Super Bowl loss to the Giants. (you know, the one that kept them imperfect) It was all about the return of the man that would lead the Patriots to another title. Late Monday night and Tuesday morning, the talk was all the same. Tom Brady was back. The hero returned and led his team to a fantastical comeback that couldn’t be scripted any better. 2 TD drives in the waning minutes to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Yes, the hero of New England was back.
If you hadn’t watched the game you would have thought you missed some great explosion of talent erupt with fireballs from his eyes. What you wouldn’t have seen was the Patriots down 24-13 with 4 minutes left in the game. You wouldn’t have seen a solid TD drive that ended when Tom Brady’s 2 point conversion failed with just over 2 minutes left. Leaving the Patriots down 24 – 19 instead of a game tying FG away score of 24 – 21. What you would have seen was the following kick-off that had more to do with the New England “comeback” than anything Brady did all night. Yep, you would have seen Buffalo return man, Leodis McKelvin fumble the return and kicker Stephen Gostkowski recover it on the Buffalo 30.
No miracle 90 yard drive under 2 minutes. No 70 yard hail-mary pass to Randy Moss. No heroic sack avoidance that found a falling QB slinging a TD or a TD pass while taking some monster hit to the chin. Nope. It was a fumble. A simple stupid fumble that gave the Patriots 30 yards to use with 2 minutes left. Where is the heroic Tom Brady in that?
The media would have you believe that Tom Brady was incredible Monday night but in reality, he played like any other QB for 3 quarters and did little to show anyone that he was anything more than average. Ask any number of fantasy footballers who have him on their roster. Quarters 1 through 3 was a big yawner. His numbers became more impressive when his team needed to throw the ball to keep up with the Bills. That’s it nothing special. If the golden boy was back, the Patriots never would have been in that position. They were because he was pedestrian.
Which brings me to the NY Jets fine today. 75,000 bucks. For not accurately reporting the injury of Brett Favre last year. For not listing Brett Favre as “probable” on the weekly report in the last 4 games. See Brett Favre had a torn biceps tendon but he still played. In fact, he still started so I’m a little fuzzy on this whole “failure to report” thing. If he they didn’t list him and he played, whats the big deal and all the fuss about? If they didn’t list him and he didn’t play…then of course that makes sense.
See, if you don’t list a player and they don’t play then you have made another team prep for that guy all week. Not listing him means that guess what…he is going to play so you better prep for him being in there. Favre played, Jets didn’t list him, so what? On top of the 75K came an addition fine of 50K for then HC Eric Mangini who now coaches the Browns. The fine was for Mangini’s involvement or lack thereof since it was Mangini’s job to put players on the list. Again I say….I don’t get it!
125,000 dollars in fines between the Jets and their former HC. That’s a lot of dough for not putting a player on the report. So what does this have to do with the Patriots? Simple. Mangini learned all this from…you guessed it…Bill Belichick.
There was a time a few years ago that Billy boy didn’t place an injured starter on the list and he got his hand slapped and a finger waived off to the side of his face that said tsk, tsk, tsk. So Billy decided that every single player who had so much as a cut finger would be placed on the injury report and he no longer discussed injuries with the media…at all. So now teams that were prepping for the Patriots didn’t know what injuries were legit and which ones weren’t. Tom Brady lived on the injury report the entire Super Bowl season and yet not once showed any signs of an injury. Once again…Billy’s middle finger shot out to the NFL and the NFL just smiled.
Two off-seasons ago the Patriots were levied with stiff penalties for the “spygate” case. Belichick alone took a 500k stab to his wallet. He simply thumbed his nose and moved on. The Jets get fined a combined 125,000 for not reporting an injury to a player who they had no intention on sitting out. Again. I don’t get it.
We all know that Patriots owner Bob Kraft is one of the more influential owners of the NFL and he personally became involved leading the charge for Roger Goodell to replace former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. A lot of speculation surfaced when some viewed the camera fines as a slap on the wrist. I find it interesting that here we are now, looking at the Jets getting slapped quite a bit for doing what appears to be so much less. Did Kraft call the Commish and recommend the fine? Either way, I’m sure Billy is laughing right now as he has no love for Mangini.
In the overall picture of things, none of this matters. The Patriots are still the Patriots and until they start losing the media will eat them up. Someday Belichick will walk away and await his HOF induction. He will then take to the podium, side slap the NFL and the media and they will love him for it. He will disgrace the game once again and the media will love him for it. The fans will love him for it. Then the team will start to lose and the fans will turn their backs like they always do. It’s funny. Jets fans love their team win or lose. Bills fans do to. Dolphins fans, same thing. Hell even the Detroit Lions have fans that won’t let them go. The Patriots fans are as fickle as they come and when all this turns they will leave but not before moaning about how unfair the media and the NFL are to them. It’s simply a matter of time.
For now, this latest garbage is just another sign about how much the NFL and the media that covers it are so far up the rear-end of that team. I wonder what else Billy’s camera caught? Eh, what are you going to do.