Patriots Choke Again – FINALLY
January 22, 2007
I know the bulk of Bowl of Cheese readers are from international climes and not from the cold and bitter Northeastern United States. But for one day I‚Äôd like to address the sorry lot of football fans in New England. I‚Äôd like to give my comments on the sadness the Patriots faithful feel this morning. I‚Äôd like to say, from the bottom of my heart, HA!
I‚Äôm not ashamed or saddened by this feeling of utter contempt. Nope. I‚Äôm actually a little giddy at the prospect of leaning my head to the side and giving a mock, ‚ÄúOh, that‚Äôs too bad‚Äù to anyone who whines about the Patriots‚Äô loss.
This feeling has been nurtured into an evil response mechanism by nearly a decade of smug, holier-than-thou individuals who view their red white and blue team as the purveyors of all that is right with football.
From the masterminds ‚Äì Parcells and Belichick ‚Äì to Tom (how do you like my Dennis the Menace bowl-style haircut) Brady ‚Äì to all the interchangeable pieces on the field, this team has annoyed me since they put Drew Bledsoe on the bench.
Be assured that I have always disliked the Patriots franchise. I didn‚Äôt like Bledsoe or prior regimes, but they were at least bearable because they beat you with class. The current incarnation of fans and players are more like a NY Yankees crowd.
They (and all these apply to both fans and players) whine like A-Rod if they don‚Äôt win. They gloat persistently about how great they are and how the leadership and skills on the team are better than all others in the league. They even use their ‚Äòchosen one‚Äô mentality to justify stretching the rules a bit.*
*The Tuck Rule ‚Äì what a crock. That was a fumble.
*Willie McGinest faking an injury to give the Pats‚Äô defense time to regroup.
*Brady‚Äôs constant protests about late hits and his frequent sideways dives to the turf to illustrate how hard he was shoved.
Pats fans, please shut up for a moment and just deal with the fact that you‚Äôre out of the playoffs. You‚Äôre not in the Super Bowl. And your dynasty is waning.
I‚Äôll give the team credit for playing well at times and for enjoying a huge run of good luck in the past seven years. But luck changes, people age, and offensive machinations eventually get figured out. The upcoming season is going to be either a disaster for the team (I predict a 6-10 year) or the harbinger of some very lean years to come (watch for Brady surgery in the off-season, the retirement of Bruschi and some O-Linemen, and the loss of some very talented receivers).
So breathe deeply Pats fans and cherish your memories. The team has learned how to lose again and I for one am thrilled that the good-old days are back.**
More to come‚Ä¶
**BELOW IS FROM WIKIPEDIA – SOME PATS FACTS YOU MIGHT HAVE FORGOTTEN
By the early 1970s, several new players were added to the lineup, including Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett and offensive lineman John Hannah, who became the first career Patriot to make the Hall of Fame in 1991.Despite the changes in personnel, the Patriots’ series of losing seasons continued into the early 1970s. Chuck Fairbanks was hired as head coach and general manager in 1973 after leading a top-ten program at the University of Oklahoma. Fairbanks began assembling one of the most talented – but ultimately underachieveing – squads in the NFL of the 1970s. The Patriots finished 7‚Äì7 in 1974 and 3‚Äì11 in 1975, which resulted in offensive changes. Plunkett was traded to the San Francisco 49ers and replaced by second year player Steve Grogan.
After the string of losing seasons, the Patriots finished the 1976 season with an 11‚Äì3 mark ‚Äî the best record in team history to that point ‚Äî and a playoff slot for the first time since 1963. In the first round of the 1976 playoffs, the Patriots lost to the Oakland Raiders 24‚Äì21. In 1978, Fairbanks was fired as head coach when it was revealed he had been secretly hired as the new head coach of the University of Colorado. Fairbanks was replaced by Ron Erhardt, who coached the team to a playoff appearance later that year. The Patriots lost to the Houston Oilers in the first round and did not return to the tournament until 1982. Under new coach Ron Meyer, the Patriots were once again eliminated in the first game ‚Äî this time by the Miami Dolphins. With the team unable to assemble playoff victories, the Sullivans replaced head coach Ron Meyer with former wide receiver Raymond Berry in 1984.