By: Bob George/BosSports.net
December 09, 2010

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Kevin Butler kicked three short field goals in Super Bowl XX against the Patriots. Take away those chip shots, and Da Bears still win 37-10. Butler was Jim McMahon's party buddy; otherwise he was an ordinary kicker who lasted eleven seasons in Chicago before moving on to Arizona for two more seasons. He led the league in scoring in his rookie season, the epic 17-1 season where the Bears became the best one-season defense in league history. He launches one high in the air, but the kick only has the legs to make it to the four-yard line.

Unless you live in the state of Indiana, you crave every game that Peyton Manning stinks out the joint in.

I don't fire Mike Singletary. Let's see how he does when he actually has material to work with.

You have to be dumbfounded that Cleveland was actually able to beat the Patriots.

Seeing Baltimore cough up that game at home to Pittsburgh in the final minutes was downright unbelievable.

Down in Atlanta, they still think of 1998 as their hallmark season, when their Falcons became the first 14-2 team to play a road playoff game, which they won. The 2010 team still has a ways to go.

The second such 14-2 team was your Patriots in 2004. And they also beat the 15-1 team on the road to make it to the Super Bowl.

Next coach to go? This typewriter says Marvin Lewis.

Geek of the week: Rex Ryan won't shut up. At some point down the road he really needs to. It's only good when you back it up, and even then it's not always good when you do.

If Josh McDaniels gets another shot at head coaching ever again, it needs to be about ten years from now. By then he'll know what to do, and he'll also look like he'll know what to do.

Jason Garrett is off to a great start in Big D. But Jerry Jones should still have never let Jimmy Johnson go.

Should the winner of the NFC West be allowed into the playoffs at all?

Or the AFC West?

Good idea that Tampa Bay didn't bail on Raheem Morris last year and let him take a few lumps.

Meanwhile, how are the Titans doing now that they've got Randy Moss?

Nice that Moss has Vince Young as a teammate, taking all the spotlight off the goof-off receiver.

Jeff Fisher doesn't deserve those two.

Nice to see Matt Cassel doing well in Kansas City. Get over that appendectomy quick, bud.

Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger are further proof that being a role model is overrated and completely unimportant in the big picture.

Because no one in the state of Pennsylvania cares one iota about either man's criminal/arrest record.

Back to school: UConn is in a BCS game? Holy mackinoly.

The Jaguars are in control of their own destiny in the AFC South. And the Colts may miss the playoffs.

Next thing you'll probably tell me is that the Rams also have the inside track to win their division.

You'll feel happy for Richard Seymour if the Raiders do make the postseason this year. But then you'll remember who he plays for.

Nice idea for Fox Sports to have former official boss Mike Pereira at the ready to offer guidance on all controversial calls. Too bad he can't be available to all the broadcasts. He is to officiating what Steve Sabol is to football filmmaking. He is not only knowledgeable, but also happens to be glib and well spoken.

Sometimes you forget that Sabol is a filmmaker, not a host or narrator.

If you find yourself rooting for "bad" teams to beat a team you want to see lose, it is exasperating when those "bad" teams don't play like your Patriots.

If Cincinnati didn't stink out the joint against most everyone else, you could excuse them for coughing up that game against the Super Bowl champion Saints.

You look at the Cardinals and you wonder how things would be had Matt Leinart been at least half of what he was at USC. Another example of how inexact a science drafting is.

We're still waiting to see David Carr live up to his top draft pick billing. Languishing as a third string quarterback with the lowly 49ers is tough to stomach.

Remember him: Howard, you have got to tell the people what we know in this booth. An unspeakable tragedy. John Smith lines up for a field goal late in the first half of a Monday night game in Miami 30 years ago, with the Patriots up 6-0. John Lennon, the most famous ex-Beatle. Shot twice in the back outside his apartment in New York City. Rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital. Dead. On. Arrival. Lennon is still exalted by all music fans, and not just Beatle fans. The Miami jinx that haunted the Patriots at that time continued on December 8, 1980, but the overtime loss to the Dolphins was completely overshadowed by the assassination of Lennon, which Howard Cosell announced to the nation during the broadcast. All you need is love, but Lennon needed more than that on that fateful evening. Lennon remains a small part of Patriot lore in a tragic way, but the fact that Beatles music is still as alive and vibrant today as it was during Lennon's lifetime is the perfect encapsulation of the iconic musician's life and legacy.

By the way, it is still puzzling as to why Cosell was the one to break the news, instead of going to Ted Koppel and a "we interrupt this program" bulletin. Koppel hosted Nightline later that night and devoted the show to Lennon's assassination. But ABC had Cosell do the honors. A recording was released recently which featured Cosell and Frank Gifford discussing off camera how to report the news flash, meaning that ABC had placed the responsibility of reporting the bulletin squarely on them. Gifford told Cosell drop the bomb, and he did. Koppel was the better man to do it. But it's history, and it's Patriot history, too.

Tom Brady is playing arguably the best football of his career right now.

Bill Belichick is coaching arguably the best football of his career right now.

Yet Brian Urlacher thinks that his Bears team is the best in the NFL right now, not the Patriots.

Add all those three items up, and Patriot Nation won't have to worry on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

Worry anyway. It will be one terrific game, better than the one that was supposed to have been on Monday night at Foxborough.


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