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Posts Tagged ‘Patriots’


Unlike many Patriots’ fans, I try to be reasonable. I know they can’t win every year. Therefore, while I was disappointed with the outcome of the AFC championship game, I thought they had a good season. A successful season. Until that game they had not lost by more than 2 points in 3 of 4 their loses (and the other was only by 7- all one possession games).

I thought this was a better team than last year’s Super Bowl team. They had a MUCH improved running game. They had a pass rush that they used inconsistently (part of that was injuries to Chandler Jones). They made adjustments to eliminate the big plays that had hurt them early in the season. Part of that was trading for Talib.

The AFC championship game hurts, because I think they are a better team. The Ravens did make a bold move that paid off in changing offensive coordinators. Ray Lewis’ presence was not so much about his ability to play but his experience and ability help his team mates get into proper position. They were a much better team than the one that slid down the rankings mid-season. That does not bode well for them next year without Lewis.

So, what went wrong?

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Football is a game for men- tough men.  Unlike many American males, I don’t lie to myself and others.  I could not play that game professionally.  It requires a physical toughness that I lack.  It also requires an emotional toughness that I am familiar with as a pastor.  In football, you have to deal with the emotional aspects of the game- remaining consistent when there are great hills and valleys.  Remaining stable in the face of constant obstacles.

Enter Jay Culter, the pouting All-Pro.  Jay can’t seem to understand that Pro Football is a business.  The goal is two-fold: compete to win the SuperBowl consistently, and make lots of money in the process.  The closer you are to the first, the easier it is for a team to accomplish the second.  As a result, the business-side, just like the game-side, is not easy on a person’s ego.  During the game, fans might boo you.  And during the off-season you might be linked with trade rumors.

Jay can’t imagine that the Broncos might entertain offers for a QB that 1. his new coach knows, and 2. had a better QB rating than he did.  Yes, Cutler had a record setting season.  But his team folded in the crunch (Cassel’s team when on a strong run that would have earned them a playoff spot in most divisions).  As QB, some of that falls on his shoulders.

But Cutler is pouting and demanding a trade- feeling so unwanted.  He’s is proving that they should have traded him.  First, he lacks the mental/emotional toughness required to flourish in professional football.  Trade possibilities have sent him into an epic, public freefall.  He just gave fans on other cities ammo with which to bait him and boo him.  Second, he is more concerned with himself than team.  This doesn’t sit well with any associated with the Patriots and their success over the course of this decade.  Individuals play, but only teams can win.  Teams are made of people who believe “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” to quote the fictitious Spock from The Wrath of Kahn.  Cutler is focused on himself.  Not a good sign.  He demands his ego get stroked instead of submitting his ego to the needs of his team.  He also refuses to see that a few teams WERE really interested in him (I’m not sure why at this point).

Jay needs to take his meltdown where it belongs- behind closed doors- or no team will want him, including the one he’s on.  And while he’s there he may want to invest in some Daniel Goleman books on emotional intelligence.

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After going 0-4 in the preseason without any snaps taken by the NFL’s 2007 MVP Tom Brady, the Patriots (and their fans) greatest fear was an injury to their quarterback.

Photo by Jim Davis of Globe staff

Photo by Jim Davis of Globe staff

That didn’t take long.  On their second series a defender rolled up on his left leg while he was completing a pass to Randy Moss.  Out, gone, start praying people.  One sports injury expert, Will Carroll, suspects it is his PCL.  Strain or torn, who knows.

Amazingly, the Patriots pulled off a victory without their leader (17-10).  They benefit from a weak schedule early on, so perhaps they can remain competitive while Tom’s knee heals.

Update: Multiple sources are saying it’s a torn ACL, and Tom is done for the season.  They reportedly have FA QB Chris Simms coming in tomorrow.  That’ll be quite the drop off!  This could be quite the long season.

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You’ve probably heard the story so much you want to bury your head in the sand.  “SpyGate” has been a buzz since September, plaguing the Patriots all through their run for a championship.  The day before the biggest game of the year, the SuperBowl and a chance to do the unthinkable- 19-0, the Herald released the story that took it to the next level.  They ran a story claiming the Patriots had taped the Rams final walk thru prior to defeating them in the SuperBowl.

You just can’t take something like that back.  I don’t know if it affected the team.  I know Tom Brady’s ankle and the Giants’ relentless pass rush were factors.  This … hard to say.  But slander and libel are still slander and libel.  Real journalists should make sure their facts check instead of settling for the sensational.  Tomase apparently didn’t, and neither did the editors.  Other journalists caught doing such things in high profile situations (and this was very high profile) have paid the price.  No word yet from the Herald beyond this short apology.

On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots’ video staff taped the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.

Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.

The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots’ owners, players, employees and fans for our error.

I’m not sure that cuts it.  In the Old Testament, if you falsely accused another of a crime you received the punishment they would have received.  You really can’t strip the Herald of a SuperBowl, but perhaps they should donate a few million to the NFL Players Association to help the retired players who don’t receive the benefits now enjoyed by players.  Perhaps Tomase and the editors need to spend endless hours answering questions how they could to something so heinous and reprehensible, and then be suspended for a year or two.  Perhaps Kraft and Belichik should be given the opportunity to investigate their lives and print up some tasty tidbits.  What do you think would be just in this matter?

Annoying Update: Senator Spector apparently has too much time on his hands.  The energy crisis and its ripple effect through the economy, the War on Terror, the Social Security crisis, our on-going infanticide (and I could keep going) don’t matter nearly as much to him as … football.  There are serious matters that affect the country and he’s concerned about football.  Someone please give him a reality check, like the daily paper or something.

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It was a jam packed weekend filled with fun and frustration.  It is fun hearing that you don’t have any cavities!  It is also fun trying to teach my daughter how to cut paper with her new scissors.  She still uses both hands to open it, and wants to hold them at an odd angle.  Yes, it will take time.  But it was fun.

Frustration?  I was certainly frustrated with the same daughter was angry with me because I didn’t want her walking around with the blade unit from the Magic Bullet.  She can’t grasp that I’m trying to protect her from potentially dangerous situations.  All she knows is that I’m blocking her pursuit of fun.  It also was frustrating not being able to find a gender-neutral scooter for my kids at the W-M. 

Fun was watching my son play with his new cars.  A neighbor gave him the Cars collection.  He really enjoys playing with them- captivated really.  And he has not seen the movie.

Fun was watching him pretend to throw a baseball.  I had the Sox-Rays game on and he was mimicking the pitcher.  It was even funnier looking when I put his arm restraints back on.  He seemed captivated by baseball this weekend.

And boxing.  We were at a friend’s house.  They were showing part of the Ali-Ernie Shaver fight, and his eyes were glued to the TV.  Thankfully he wasn’t practicing with his arm restraints on this time.

Frustrating was having CavWife ask anytime I either had been or was going to be near a computer and wanting me check on the progress of the laptop.  I kept forgetting.  We were both frustrated.

Even more frustrating was watching the Sox get swept by the Rays (who have a very good team this year).  Why?  Try no off days in 3 weeks and fending off the bug.  They were worn out and wasted 2 superior pitching performances by Buchholz and Beckett.  Beckett’s 13 Ks meant an extra point for my fantasy team which remains in first place at this VERY early juncture.  I was also frustrated with watching the Hawks play an amazing game to beat the Celtics.

CavWife is not sure why the NFL draft is a big deal.  I’m not sure why anyone would spend all day watching it, much less heading to Radio City Music Hall.  I did check in periodically to see how the Patriots were doing.  Some people watch to see where players from their favorite college teams and alma maters go.  My alma mater, Boston University, no longer has a football team and so my efforts to see one of them drafter were in vain.  I can’t remember the last Terrier drafted in football or  basketball.  Hockey is a different story.  I think the Patriots addressed their most pressing needs (youth and speed at linebacker and cornerback).  But who’s to say at this point?

Our study of 1 Peter wrapped up chapter 2 Sunday night.  Our group is in transition.  The youth pastor will soon have to take over the youth study since the intern is graduating and moving on.  My long-term status in up in the air.  So we aren’t sure if the group will be able to continue come the Fall.  Someone would have to step up.

Today I took our son to one of his post-surgical appointments.  We arrived early since you can’t predict the traffic into Orlando.  We enjoyed a walk around a nearby park.  He enjoyed the fountains and the water fowls.  We saw a group of ducks that included 8-9 ducklings.  We also saw a good sized turtle swimming around in the pond.  I like sharing those moments with him.  So much better than the wet bedding (an unfortunate result of the liquid diet he’s been on since the surgery).

The surgeon was quite pleased with the repair on the lip.  He thought the palate was looking much better.  We were rinsing it when we should have been irrigating it.  The white spot I feared was a hole or exposed bone is only a scab (huge sigh of relief).  He should only wear the arm restraints for another week.  Once the stitches fall out we no longer have to irrigate.  All in all- a very good report from the surgeon.  I did discover that the reason all the skin was peeling off of his thumb was that in the restraints he couldn’t put it in his mouth.  So it dried out, really dried out.

I finally remembered to check the progress of the laptop.  Still in the repair process (sigh) so no pictures of the family or the animals we have seen.

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