Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Asterisk

We'd be fools to not to realize that as New England/Boston fans, we have an enormous "kick me" sign on our backs right now. We've got the best team in baseball, football and basketball and all we do is complain about respect. The "we suffered through 86 years of misery" mantra for the Sox has worn off. The lovable "team-oriented" Pats have not endeared themselves to the outside world and the Celts are back to their winning ways of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Which brings me to the topic of this post...

I was reading a really nicely written article on ESPN by columnist, Gene Wojciechowski, yesterday. The focus of the article was the fact that the Pats do whatever it takes to win which is why they are sitting on a perfect season. As a skimmed through the article, I couldn't help noticing the first comment posted by yet another jealous football fan. It read, "how ironic .. 'whatever it takes, the patriots will win.' 18-0*."

The poster of this comment, "chrisdgunter" is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I am amazed at the childishness of some of the Patriots detractors and their ceaseless efforts to call the Patriots out as cheaters. Yes, the Patriots did cheat as I noted in a post early in the season. Yes, Belichick and the team deserved to be fined and yes it was a stupid and unnecessary move. But given how dominant the Patriots have been this year, isn't it obvious that whatever advantage the taping of the Jets defensive calls in the first game of the season may have given the Patriots had nothing, I repeat nothing to do with their perfect 18-0 record.

Why am I writing this post? I'm not sure to be honest. Mainly because I'm tired of people tarnishing one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history. In some ways, I'll liken this to Michael Jordan detractors that tried to sully his reputation as the greatest basketball player ever (sorry Larry Legend) by calling out his compulsive gambling habits. Those habits may make him less of a likable person but they never got in the way of his talent, drive and leadership.

On a different but related note, I'm amazed that Vegas has the Pats as two TD favorites in the Superbowl. Don't get me wrong, the Pats are definitely the better team and most likely will win, but as my friend Derek says, "on any given Sunday." This was definitely the case in 2001 when a scrappy Patriots team upset the "best team on turf" aka St. Louis Rams. Let's also not forget that the 'Gints' also gave the Pats one of the best games of the season in week 17 - pissing the game away in the last 5 minutes on a senseless Manning INT.

One more question - what do you make of Charger's center, Nick Hardwick's allegations that Dick Seymour is the dirtiest player in the game. More sour grapes by the whiniest team in football?

5 comments:

Johnny Rooster said...

I think there are always going to be those that are going to say the record was tainted - just as they always point out that the Dolphins played a very weak schedule in their perfect season. Either way, the Pats and their fans will sleep comfortably at night knowing that this year represents one of the best sports teams of all time.

Jim said...

Regarding the close game played by the Pats & G-Men in week 17 and what it suggests for the SB... My sense is that Bill B. threw a pretty basic game plan at young Eli and the Giants. Sure, it was an important game for the Pats, closing out an undefeated regular season, but it was not a "kitchen sink" game (stealing a Simmons term). With an outside shot they'd meet again in the SB, I'll bet they kept a bit (a lot) in reserve. Given all the prep they did for the Giants in week #17 and two more weeks to prepare for the SB, I think this one could get ugly fast. If we thought we'd seen the Belichick was innovative in past game plans, what do you think he'll come up with this year? I'm not sure, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Adawg said...

Rooster - I agree. I say screw 'em.

Jimbo - this game is either a 3 point game or a 21 point blow out. No in between. I'm hoping for the latter. ;)

Johnny Rooster said...

I was thinking the very same thing. It is likely that the Pats were careful in their gameplanning for the Giants in week 17 knowing that they may meet again. In addition, that game was in the cold, which did not favor the Patriots' passing game - while the AZ game should be in comfortable temperature that will allow the Pats to fully utilize its passing game. Finally, to complement the passing game, Maroney has got his game on, which should provide additional strength to the passing game.

Johnny Rooster said...

Did I say "passing game" enough in the last comment?