GLENDALE, Ariz. â Super Bowl hype plus DeflateGate equalsâŠwell, someone needs to call Merriam and Webster and invent a new word.
Mary Poppins came up with âsupercalifragilisticexpialidociousâ.Â Somewhat later, a new addition to said dictionary is the word âginormousâ.Â Some lazy guys expend as little effort as possible in expressing themselves in an exclamatory factor by merely saying âdudeâ.
But it is Super Bowl week.Â A new word is needed.
The Patriots arrived in the Valley of the Sun on Monday, following a rally at Boston City Hall and getting out of New England quickly to avoid a monster snowstorm which is expected Monday night and into Tuesday.Â It is still an awesome sight to see the Patriots as one of the principals here amidst the greatest sports spectacle in this nation, even for the eighth time.Â This arrival begins perhaps the most momentous week in Patriot history.Â Exactly how momentous will be revealed at the end of Sunday nightâs game with Seattle.
However, with the Patriotsâ arrival Monday and the insipid tradition called Media Day on Tuesday, DeflateGate will not go away.Â Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported on Monday that a ball boy is now a âperson of interestâ for the NFL.Â Bill Belichick had to remind everyone that the issue had been addressed twice last week, and only wants to talk football and Seattle right now.
But the star of the show on arrival day for the Patriots was Bob Kraft.Â Finally breaking his silence, Kraft stood at the podium at the Patriots headquarters out in Chandler, Arizona and delivered an unexpected speech, one which he did not take questions afterward.
Bob Kraft addressed the media at Patriot headquarters on Monday and adamantly defended his team and organization amidst the DeflateGate investigation.
(USA TODAY Images)
Kraft adamantly stood by his team and his organization.Â In particular, he finally offered vocal support for both Belichick and Tom Brady (âThey are my guys!â), insisting that the Patriots did nothing wrong.Â The highlight of his speech was a call for the NFL to apologize to the Patriots, Belichick and Brady if they find nothing wrong as a result of their ongoing investigation.
Kraft might want to tread lightly where the league is involved, but it might turn out in the end that the league might be the tread lightly entity.Â On Seattleâs arrival day on Sunday, Richard Sherman was asked about what might result from DeflateGate.Â He said that nothing will likely happen to the Patriots, thanks in part to Kraftâs friendship with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who attended both Patriot home playoff games and has visited Kraft at his home recently.Â Sherman used the term âconflict of interestâ in describing Goodellâs relationship with Kraft.
For the Patriots, both the ongoing preparations for Super Bowl XLIX and the league investigation continue concurrently.Â The players are trying to go about their game preparation, while the league looks into this ball boy and the media feeds the fans with every possible angle of coverage.Â The popular radio show Felger and Mazz devoted maybe 30 minutes of their four-hour show to actual game analysis, the rest of the time to DeflateGate.
This investigation marks the second time the Patriots have come to Glendale for the Super Bowl with baggage in tow.Â This is the second time University of Phoenix Stadium has hosted the Super Bowl, and the Patriots have been the AFC Champs in both of them.
In 2007, the Patriots finished the regular season 16-0, and won their two conference playoff games to set themselves up for the first 19-0 season in NFL history.Â Standing in their way were the New York Giants, whom the Patriots defeated on the road on the final weekend to complete their perfect regular season.Â The Patriots had the Giants on paper, and were favored to complete their perfect season and cement their stature in NFL history.Â At this time, Belichick and Brady were 3-0 in Super Bowls.
But the weight of the 18-0 record proved too heavy for the Patriots.Â They let the Giants be the more physical and inspired team, and a miracle catch by David Tyree was the linchpin in the Giants upsetting the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, 17-14.Â If the Patriots had suffered at least one loss going into that game, the Patriots might have won.
If the Patriots are concerned about returning to a venue where they suffered perhaps the most devastating loss in team history, they can look to the 2001 Patriots for inspiration.Â The Patriots played their first three Super Bowls in New Orleans, and lost the first two.Â The 2001 team broke through despite being a 17-point underdog and beat the St. Louis Rams for their first of their three Super Bowl wins.Â Perhaps things will go differently on their second visit to Glendale.
Right now, the Patriots at least made it here and didnât get snowed in in Boston.Â They need to laugh their way through Media Day on Tuesday, endure more questions about DeflateGate, then endure the usual stupid questions asked at this farce of an NFL tradition.Â From then on, the team needs to focus and think about nothing other than defeating the current Super Bowl champs.
To a man, the Patriots will take dumb questions over DeflateGate in a heartbeat.Â Super Bowl hype is on for real.