I have purposely avoided most of the media madness about this affair. I haven't watched ESPN once, nor the NFLN, or HBO's football show. I just want this to be over....and it will be, soon after Sunday's game. However until then we just have to bear up, just like our team.
During this week, I have been at times embarassed for my team for being in this situation. I have been angry at the gross hypocracy practiced by the both the media and a good many coaches and NFL players (which surprised me) who just piled on because they couldn't beat us on the field. I have been disappointed to have to hear my team linked to such negative press over what amounts to a differing interpretation of the rules. I am positively IRATE about losing that draft pick. Here are some things I think I think (with apologies to Peter King)
1. On the positive side - If there was ever a team culture that THRIVED on the "its US against the WORLD" mentality its the Patriots. This week has firmly put our team IN THE BUNKER. Teams have come out and told our players, we don't believe that you can beat us without "cheating". They have humiliated their coach and demeaned their accomplishments. BOTTOM LINE: They have a lot to prove and they are going to have to hear ***** and wear a "scarlet letter" all season. There is only ONE thing that will wash this away....and that is forcing Goodell to hand the Lombardi Trophy to Bill Bellichick in Febuary.
Before this event I was worried a bit about the ability of this team to respond week to week as the favorite. I don't have thatfear anymore.
2. I stopped listening to the media as soon as I heard Mark Schlerith (a guy I usually like) make the statement that the Pats should forfeit the Jet game for cheating. All I could think about was. Sure Mark, the Pats will forfeit the game, just as soon as your Denver team sends back their 2 Lombardis that they won while CHEATING badly on on the cap. And Mark, don't forget to send back YOUR Superbow ring back while your at it.
3. Bill will get NO MERCY from any of the media...including the Boston media. There is no question that his reticence makes their lives more difficult, and there is no group more VINDICTIVE than the local media, many who think the games are being played for THEIR benifit. In their minds its ALL ABOUT THEM. There used to be an old saying about BOSTON. Its 2 favorite passtimes are Politics and REVENGE.
4. The Jets were wiped out 38-14 last Sunday. Raise your hands if you think its going to be worse the next time. OK put your hands down. The next question is, what is the over/under on whether Eric Mangini EVER beats BB again while he's in NY. Talk about biting the hand that fed you?????
. He'd better be a genius or he'll be lucky to see his 5th season as a HC. Personally I see him gone after 4 years, a failed one and done HC with no second chances.
5. I was feeling pretty good about this weeks game BEFORE all this hit. Though I think in the long run (this year) it will help the team focus and concentrate on the field, I wonder about the massive distractions on both the players AND coach THIS week. See the Buffalo opener 2003. By next week, the media may still be on the story, but the coaches and players will have their blinders on, but this week, I'm concerned.
On the other hand, because the Players know that if they lose, they are going to hear that they can't win without cheating, they might just go out and destroy the Chargers...they better.
6. Here is what IS NOT being said about this situation. It is NOT against the rules to try and steal an opposing teams signals. In fact, its an obligation that a staff do everything in their power to get that information. So most of this moral outrage is such pure BS. If the Pats were overly zealous in their pursuit of this "obligation" then punish them, but for gods sake let the punishment fit the crime.
I'm ok with a fine for the team and the HC (because that's where the buck stops), and how much is kind of meaningless because the team AND BB can well afford it. HOWEVER losing a first round draft pick is a HUGE over kill. Compared to what Denver and SF did when THEY circumvented the cap rules so blatently that Tags HAD to do something about it, even though he didn't want to. It was that blatent. Its like giving someone 5 years for murder, and then hanging the next guy for embezzelment.
I have a question. Is there any chance the Pats can appeal and get back the pick? Is this FINAL. If it is, then its a travesty.
7. I don't think that the Pats will be the last team to face Goddell's "moral wrath" on this issue. WE know that there are OTHER teams who have been stretch the rules sideline spying and other assorted mistameanors. THEY WILL come out, and it will be interesting to see what the commissioner does THIS time. The local media isn't the only Vindictive parties here. BB and Bob Kraft didn't get to where they are because they forgave people who F#cked them over. But I bet we will have to wait before we see the consequences, because Revenge is best served cold
8. Has there been anything further on the picture of the Jet employee on the Pats sideline. Over at JI they are dismissing it as a photoshop job. Did any of the media hoard mention it. Like I said I haven't been following closely.
9. Thanks to all for letting me get this out. Its been a tough time for all of us, butwhen the season is over, all those fans piling on that we have to deal with NOW, will have to think of NEW excuses for why their teams fail to match the Excellence of the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.