For the last few weeks I’ve been noticing this media push to cast the Patriots as mechanical, robotic. The word “machine” is used a lot by sports pundits, but they almost always use it more as a slur or subtle put-down than any kind of compliment. In other words, they are not the unbeatable “Big Red Machine,” of Cincinnati Reds lore, but more like a corporatized mechanism, well-heeled, well-oiled... marching in step. Jason La Confora said he was longing for Minny to beat the Eagles so we would have this match-up of a perfectly mastered machine up against a third string quarterback with a million yowling, rowdy fans driving him on. (I paraphrase) I wonder if any of these sports voices are aware that the Pats-Titans game drew a record-breaking number of network viewers. Or, unlike the Yankees, Pat’s players are not only allowed to express a wide variety of personal styles, but often do just that. This machine designation is new to me, but maybe it's been around for awhile, and has been pulled out of the closet and dusted off.