If I had a dollar every time I heard someone in the national media say Deflate Gate is
a 'major distraction' for the Patriots heading into the Super Bowl, I could buy Tom Brady's
house in Brookline with straight cash.
They never learn.
No franchise is sports is better at dealing with 'major distractions' than the New England
Patriots. They don't fold under the weight of them, but use it as fuel to drive them.
Remember SpyGate? After the first game of the 2007 season where they thrashed the
New York Jets, who in turn turned them in for videotaping their signals, the Patriots
Everybody outside of New England hated and branded them as cheaters. Yeah, I
guess that was a 'major distraction', but they went on to win every game during the regular
season. A perfect 16-0 and most of the games weren't even close.
Remember Aaron Hernandez? Oh, yeah, their all-pro tight end was arrested for allegedly
gunning down one of his friends in cold blood. Sure, that happens everyday in the NFL.
A team loses one of their best players who turned out to be a sociopath they shared a locker
How did the Pats deal with that 'major distraction?' They went 12-4 during the regular
season and made it to the AFC Championship game.
Did the media forget about 2008? Tom Brady had his knee shredded in the season-opener
and Belichick turns to Matt Cassel to quarterback the team. Cassell, who never started a
game in college at USC, leads the Patriots to an 11-5 record. Matt Cassell? Really?
Belichick doesn't allow the team to use injuries, murder, or scandal to disrupt the
cohesiveness and success of the team. Never. I covered the team nearly every day for
two years and I saw first-hand the type of players Belichick brings in. They all have
the same DNA: mentally tough, smart, focused, committed, and men who put the team
in front of everything else. Always.
Oh, sure, he whiffed on Hernandez, but that happens. What doesn't happen? Being distracted
by 'major distractions.' It just fuels the Patriots even more.
Remember when the Patriots got blown out by Kansas City on September 29? They
never looked that bad during Belichick's tenure in New England. Trent Dilfer, NFL analyst
for ESPN, went so far as to say, "The Patriots just aren't any good anymore."
The media in New England doubted and vilified them as well, saying Belichick can't
draft, sign quality free-agents, or give Brady, whom many said was getting old before their
eyes, enough weapons to work with. It was absurd.
How'd that turn out? Yeah, the Patriots are pretty good, Trent Dilfer, playing in their
sixth Super Bowl during the Belichick era.
There is nothing, not scandal, not murder, or any other 'major distraction' that will make
this team come undone and lose focus. They become more focused and use it as fuel.
Deflate Gate will not stop this team from winning the Super Bowl, only the Seattle
Seahawks can do that. However, after this injection of fuel for the Patriots, I don't think that
will be possible.