My good friend Paul steps in with today's insane Patriots rant of the day. Honestly, his furor is so intense right now, that I'm just going to print what he says unedited.
The sleeveless-one actually had to fight from showing his shock and dismay that the league was really going to enforce this rule, however weakly. He never apologized, not to anyone. It is standard practice now for anyone in sports to throw out a mea culpa even if they were just pulled over for speeding on the way to the stadium.
He probably admitted that he sent someone up there to film and gave a smug "So what?". All of this after the commish sent a memo clarifying and highlighting the rule just weeks earlier (which was most likely a preemptive wrist slap directed at their franchise exclusively). There are written rules in sports and their are unwritten rules in sports. Anyone who has played sports knows that. He was pinned for breaking a written one and now he seems bent to break all the unwritten ones as his tantrum, because he knows that there is nothing anyone can do about it. In an attempt to run as far and as fast as possible from the allegations of being a illegitimate dynasty, they have become the biggest jerks of the NFL. Can anyone say Barry Bonds?
Hating this team is now so easy, not because of the cheating allegations, but because they are intentionally breaking all of the unwritten rules of the game. They have become so unsportsmanlike in a misguided effort to save face, that even their fan base has to question their mindset. If you are up by 17+, your offense has to switch to clock management, by 25+, you pull your starters and for goodness sakes on 4th and 3 in the red zone, kick a field goal! How does Bellicheck answer his remaining fans if Tom gets injured in the 4th quarter? Tom wanted to stay in because he was going for a personal record? Brady can have all the records that Bill is willing to let him get, but if they don't win the SuperBowl after this drunken rampage of a season, it will be very difficult for reputations to recover.
The NFL is a team sport, so the only bragging rights are championship rings. New England now permanently has a cloud of doubt hanging over their wins and they are pissed, but they should be pissed at their coach, not the rest of the league. Just like a good cult follower, it is always the guy from the ATF's fault that I am wearing a grenade belt and a gas mask.
The Colts are going to have an easy time finding their motivation to play hard and well. They are the underdogs despite what the stats and recent history would teach, but in all honesty, we should be thankful. I lay awake at night dreaming of the Pat's going for it on 4th and 3 in the redzone with Brady still in the game late with a lead, and on the snap the Zombie finds a seam and makes Brady pay helmet to helmet! Damn the league fines! Sometimes you have to smack a drunk to wake him up enough so he can drive himself home.
This is not a showdown between two teams. It is a showdown between two philosophies of sports and what is really sad is that the Pats team can't see that they are just Bill's pawns in a sick tyrade. Win or lose, when you know that you can still beat teams and be respected in the league, why would you choose the other route? If you tarnish the game in the process of winning, that is what everyone will be talking about long after the season is over, even if you win the big one.
Yikes. Paul is mad. And so we all are. There is only one right way for this season to end, and the first step to getting there comes on Sunday afternoon. This is a two game season. Let's win the first one now.
Demond Sanders: Note to self - Never cross Paul.