Monday, December 7, 2015

PATRIOT FANS AND MEDIA: GOING, GOING....


When I saw the number of empty seats and heard the chorus of boos near the end of the
Eagles-Patriots game Sunday, I said to myself, "Yep, Pats fans are earning their ranking
Sports Illustrated gave them as the biggest cry babies in sports."

I guess when a team loses (gasp) two games in a row, they are deserving of getting the fans'
two cents worth. The Boston media added theirs with a Monday morning quarterback critique
that included a headline, "Patriots mistakes could signal startling late season collapse." Another
read, "Forget about injuries, the Patriots need to be concerned about winning."

Really?

Oh, I don't think anybody is jumping off the Patriots vessel the same way they did a year
ago in September when New England got hammered by Kansas City on national television.
ESPN football guru Trent Dilfer fueled the frenzy by proclaiming the Patriots "just aren't
that good anymore." The Boston media suggested that Bill Belichick was losing it and
Tom Brady was all but done. Yeah, and this was with a record of 2-2 after just four games.

Since that dreadful and embarrassing night, the Patriots won an AFC Championship,
dealt with the pressure of DeflateGate which would've made lesser teams fracture like
Humpty Dumpty, won a Super Bowl, and dealt with DeflateGate again all the way
up until training camp. Going into their showdown with Denver two weeks ago,
the Patriots compiled an astonishing record of 23-2. You read that right. 23 wins and
2 since that brutal loss on September 29, 2014.

23-2? That might be far more impressive than the Golden State Warriors undefeated
start to the season. Seriously.

And now because the Patriots have lost a remarkable two games in a row, there is unrest
with the fans and darts thrown by the media. For real? Yes.

Even without the injuries to Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Gronk, and about half
the offense line, the team was bound and due to implode at some point. I mean, seriously.
This team and franchise is the most mentally tough in all of sports. They ploughed through
all the negativity after the Kansas City game and the absurdity of DeflateGate and not
only won the Super Bowl, but compiled a record of 23-2 up until the Denver game.

The wheels had to come off and some point. And if the carburetor, fuel-injection system,
power steering, and DVD-player went too, well, it wouldn't be all that surprising.

First of all, anyone who has watched the Patriots during the Belichick era, realizes they
always have one god-awful, wheels-fall-off, type of game every year. Remember in 2003
when they cut Lawyer Milloy before the season then got hammered by the Buffalo Bills
31-0 in the first game of the year? What'd they do that year? Oh, right, they won the
Super Bowl. Last year was the KC fiasco. And trust me, there have been others.

However, the Patriots always do a great job of bouncing back.

Did Belichick make a bunch of bad decisions against Philadelphia? Absolutely.

Did Brady make a bunch of bad decisions against Philadelphia? Absolutely.

But come on, people even Belichick gets a brain cramp once in a while and Brady
has at least one game where he looks like the second-coming of Geno Smith.

IT HAPPENS.

There is no reason to panic. None. We know the Patriots are going to the playoffs.
And there's a pretty good chance the offense will be close to 100 percent by then. Edelman
and Gronk should both be back and Brady will be in his comfort zone again. You think
he's comfortable throwing to Brandon LaFell? Good, lord, that guy needs a GPS attached
to his helmet to figure out where he's going. He has no clue.

Patriot fans and media, you should get a clue like LaFell, too.  Sorry, but the team can't
win every single god-dang game. Not happening. They can't get home-field advantage
throughout the playoffs every single year. Impossible. And guess what? You can't win
the Super Bowl all the time or even back-to-back. I  know last team to do it was, yep, the
New England Patriots in 2003-2004, but it's hard as hell even if you do have Belichick
and Brady.

Just sit back. Embrace the little slump the Patriots might be in now. Gee whiz, it's only
a two-game losing streak and Denver isn't exactly the Cleveland Browns.

Lighten up. Enjoy the ride, good or bad. The Patriots are going to be just fine. They
probably aren't going to win the Super Bowl. Just deal with it. You've had 15 years
of truly incredible football. If they lose a game or two, it's not the end of the dynasty,
or the world, for that matter.

Be thankful for what you've had and just feel fortunate you don't live in Jacksonville
or Tennessee.

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