Easterbrook's latest rant is up on The Network's website.
Mr. Easterbrook, first, full disclosure- I am a New England sports fan, born in raised in Rhode Island, and as such, I will admit my opinions will tend to be biased towards the teams for which I root here in New England- the Pats, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins. That being said, this is a trivial quote from you today:
“With 12 minutes to play, New England jumped offsides on third-and-2; Brady visibly yelled "f---!" in angry disgust. With his team ahead 38-0!”
Correct me if I am wrong, but your use of italics here leads me to believe you are shocked at Brady’s reaction. You must think Brady is as bad as the Evil Emperor himself, Coach Belichick, because he cursed and was angry at his team incurring a penalty amidst an unmerciful blowout.
Now look, I know this was one comment in a string to add emphasis to the extremes to which you feel the Patriots are abusing opponents. But if you have ever listened to a Brady interview, firstly, you know he is a competitor and a winner; And if you have even the slightest grasp on the “Patriot Way” and their philosophy (which, as a football follower, I am certain you understand despite the blowouts), then you know this organization practices to achieve perfection as a team and then goes out and tries to execute to perfection as a team. A penalty is a penalty- whether it’s a blowout or nail-biter, first play in the 1st quarter or third down-and-2 late in the 4th quarter of a massacre. These guys don’t like mistakes- period. It’s called accountability.
Do NOT fault Brady or the Patriots for holding themselves accountable, even in a blowout. And that might help also explain these blowouts. Opponents and the individual players and coaches don’t hold themselves accountable on every play. The Pats do. And in part, that’s why their opponents lose.
And despite using italics, I’m not shocked that they do.
Posted by Jingoist at 3:56 PM
Sorry, but I can't help but be giddy over the absolute demolishing in Dallas yesterday. The Cowboys had no answer for the Patriots. None. Not on a single series. It was such a mismatch even the Dallas players and coaches admitted to the beat down with pretty much every post-game comment.
But outside of the hazing the Patriots put on the Cowboys, the following best summarizes what a horrible HC Wade Phillips is and why the Cowboys will never win with him. Read one of his own comments (h/t Matt Moseley)...
Asked why the Cowboys didn't go for a touchdown when they had the ball fourth-and-goal on the Patriots' 5-yard line with 10:07 left in the game, Phillips said, "If we had a play I thought we would score on, we would have gone for it on third-and-five."
Seriously? You are a head coach in the NFL, leader of (at the moment) the best team in the NFC, #1 in offense in the league. And you didn't even have the gonads to attempt a single play to try and score? Note to Wade: you need to score more than the other guy to win. Have some balls for crying out loud!
But that's why he's Wade Phillips, and not Bill Belichick. Did Bill seem embarrassed his team piled on a pasting with a TD in the waning seconds of an already decided game? Uh, no. Why? Because he's paid to call plays that score points.
Oh, that and the fact Phillips told Peter King he thought the Pats' legacy had been tarnished by the cheating scandal, hence bringing upon him and his team the "Wrath of Bill". Can I be quoted on that by the way? The "Wrath of Bill" needs to be copyrighted.
That's what the Pats do to teams that somehow, in one form or another, mock, insult, besmirch, or in any way offend a member of the Patriots this season. Already, the Chargers and Cowboys (arguably two Top 10 teams) and Cincinnati suffered from "the Wrath of Bill". The Jets, Bills, and Browns were going to suffer anyway because they are so skillfully overmatched, so those wins really can't be subject to the "Wrath of Bill". However, the second game against the Jets in Week 15 will certainly be a "Wrath of Bill" game. Sorry Coach Mangini, it's nothing personal, just business. (Just kidding, it is personal, but we don't want you to think we actually have feelings up here in New England, now do you?)
In honor of this theory, I have run down the remaining New England schedule for 2007, and I would say here are the following games that will be "Wrath of Bill" games, and why.
Week 8, Washington (at Foxboro). Why? Because inevitably, Clinton Portis will say something along the lines of a T.O. laminated "Getcha popcorn ready."-type statement to piss off Rodney Harrison and Rodney will take that to work the week leading up to the game. Teammates love when Rodney focuses on a quote. Trust me.
UPDATE: OK, so this game has now happened and... WOW! It didn't even end up being a "Wrath of Bill" game. I mean, Portis was mum the entire week and all media outlets have been ravenous for Pats/Colts since the end of Week 7. It's like they have totally skipped this game. And I think the 'Skins were hoping the Pats were looking ahead to Week 9 too, only that definitely was not the case.
Week 9, @ Indianapolis. Why? Really, is there any other reason to suffer "the Wrath of Bill" other than the fact the Colts owned the Pats the last several years? And yes, I will say it, the AFC Championship Game loss last year was about as painful as it gets for me. And I am sure Belichick and Co. feel the say way. Ah, nothing says "catharsis" like whooping a highly regarded team and who is your arch nemesis in their house (just ask the Cowboys).
Week 13, @ Baltimore. Why? Because by Week 13, the Ravens will again likely by waaaaaaaaay overrated, bound for the playoffs by the sheer attrition in the AFC, and need a very sobering butt-whooping because Ray Lewis is serving up one-liners like they are hamburger patties and he's a burger flipper at a roadside diner (which incidentally, is where he's headed once he retires). Trust me, New England welcomes the players like T.O and Lewis who make a living serving up A.P. fodder that turns into locker room bulletin board material. Rodney Harrison wishes they could play a guy like this every week.
UPDATE: So I was correct. Ray Lewis has already spoken. But the man on the other end, taking offense, was not your typical Rodney-esque "no respect" target. Enter, Adalius Thomas. Apparently these guys do not like each other. Really? Someone other than a person associated with the Ravens hates Ray Lewis? OK OK, so Thomas used to be his teammate, so I guess that still counts as "part of the family." Tracking...
Week 14, Pittsburgh (@ Foxboro). Why? Combine Week 13 and Week 15 (see my next week's comment) and you have Pittsburgh right in the wheelhouse. Like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, will be overrated. Like the Jets in Week 15, the Steelers jumped on the cheating allegations bandwagon (yes, you Hines Ward). Now, put them together and you will have (almost) the worst humiliation of every "Wrath of Bill" game this season, which I guess will probably only be exceeded by...
Week 15, New York Jets (@ Foxboro). Why? Does one even need ask? The Illegitimate son, er... prodigy of Belichick (Eric Mangini) has done nothing to endear himself to his father, er... former mentor, since leaving New England prematurely after the 2005/2006 season. But this year's spying scandal just eviscerated any possible lingering warm fuzzies Papa Bill had towards his disciple. Really, you thought all was good after last year's playoff "hug", didn't you? Then came the stories during Week 2 after the Jets got whooped by the Pats in Week 1. Then the denials, then the he said/he said, then the fines, then the denials/admissions by Jets head office/Mangini. By the time this game happens a quarter of a year will have passed since Week 1's scandal/first meeting between these teams this season. And the Patriots machine will have literally been building up its level of pissed off every week leading up to Week 15's inevitable absolute evaporation of the Jets.
The Patriots could not possibly play this game in any better conditions- at home, in the cold and possible snow, with 60,000 rabid fans ready to jump out of their seats and attack Eric Mangini and send him on a symbolic crowd surfing of death only to drop him off the bridge at the North End that hosts the 3 Super Bowl banners (take that). For this to get any worse for the Jets, you would have to play this game in the Inner Circle of Hell- which according to fans of every other team, the Patriots must be in charge of because they have seriously sold their soul to be pasting everyone the way they are. Worse still, they have no remorse for defensively demoralizing teams, or running up scores on final drives with 14-point leads, or even wiping the floor with old friends against whom they bear no ill will (yes, you Romeo Crennel). Imagine how they will play against "He-Who-Shall-Not Be-Forgiven"? (Yes, I just copyrighted that too.)
Yup, this is your 2007 New England Patriots. Welcome to Foxboro. Where the "Wrath of Bill" hath no pity on you non-believers.
Posted by Jingoist at 10:50 AM