NFL Football

How Bill Belichick and the Patriots Toppled the NFL Empire

Here we are on the other side of yet another New England Patriots victory.  Nobody can deny that Tom Brady is exceptional — probably the greatest NFL Quarterback of all time (as much as it pains me to say that).  However, the Brady and Belichick era is marred by controversy and that dims the shine of their accomplishments more than a little.  Not only does it harm the history of the Patriots, but it’s brought about the end of the NFL’s glory days.

It all started with “Spygate” back in 2007 when the Patriots were accused of filming the New York Jets.  While it’s not against league rules to film other teams, the filming can only be done in authorized areas and the Pats were caught offsides (ha).  There were huge fines and docked draft picks and it was a mess but when it was all said and done, we’d entered a new era of football.

“Deflategate” was the next big issue for the Patriots.  Under normal circumstances, I posit that some under-inflated footballs wouldn’t have been a huge issue in the NFL.  However, with that single incident of cheating by the Pats, normal circumstances went out the window.  Suddenly there was mass pandemonium involving physics, a media circus, and an intense investigation.  Again there were docked draft picks and the incredible suspension of Tom Brady.  And the NFL was tainted forever.

The Patriots keep winning.  Some of that is skill but there’s always that inkling of doubt in the back of everyone’s minds.  It leaves a sour taste in the mouth.  It’s left the NFL open to quite a bit of scrutiny, too.  If the games were more intriguing, if we weren’t guaranteed another Patriots win, would people be so interested in the inner workings of the NFL?

Since the Pats have started their indefatigable winning streak, we’ve seen the NFL attacked for other things that had previously gone overlooked.  The concussions.  The domestic abuse.  The black-listing of players fighting for social justice.  Perhaps people do care more about these issues today.  Though I deeply believe if there was more chance within the NFL standings, people would still be willing to look past some of the NFL’s indiscretions.  Thanks to the Patriot’s striking ability to win at any cost, a Pandora’s box has been opened that the NFL can never again close.

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Thursday Night Football: The Morning After

Most people who know me don’t have me pegged as a football kinda girl. Let me tell you, I am a HUGE football kinda girl.

Football season is my favorite time of year. It encompasses all good things: my birthday, autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. All the good of every year is contained in the 24 weeks of pre-season, regular season, and post-season. 24 straight weeks of awesome sauce.

The Washington Redskins are my team. Yes, they lose often and when they lose they lose badly. One gets used to the disappointment because they have so much potential. There are no fair-weather Redskins fans. We are in it for the long haul because when they win the feeling is indescribable.

Living in Minnesota, however, it is difficult not to be a Vikings fan. Well actually, with the season they have had this year it’s pretty damn easy to not be a fan…but I digress. As I enjoy watching all the Sunday football games I inevitably catch the Vikings game so I’ve become a fan by proxy. It happens…the Redskins will always be my #1 but the stations don’t show Redskins games around these parts.

Last night the Thursday Night Football match-up was the Redskins and the Vikings. What a game. Seriously. I had put all of my money on the Redskins. I mean…the Vikings with their measly 1-7 record and their carousel of quarterbacks was not a winning pick.

Touche, Vikings.

So, after much disappointment and confused feelings, I have composed some thoughts.

Dear Redskins,

I love you. I always have and I always will…but we need to talk.

WHAT WAS THAT?!

You went into the locker room last night winning 27-14. I don’t know who came out of that locker room after halftime. They looked like Redskins players but they turned out to be some half-assed doppelgängers that were not programmed to play football!

Your defense is killer. Your offense is fantastic. While the rest of the world looks on in terror as Robert Griffin III is about to get his ass kicked he is thinking, “It’s cool. I got this.” And he does. So how is it that you lost last night?

The Vikings even TRIED to help you win! With 30-some-odd seconds left in the game and you are in possession of the ball on the ONE YARD LINE the Vikings called a time out. You should have come back from that time out with the game-tying play. Yet you all said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and proceeded to throw your win in the garbage.

I just don’t get it. I probably will never understand. I will see you next week nonetheless. It may kill me one day, but I will always be your loyal fan.

Sincerely,
Dumbfounded, but Forever Loyal

And to the Vikings:

Dear Vikings,

You know, you tend to play harder when you are losing. If you played that hard all the time you probably wouldn’t lose so many games. It’s not rocket science. It’s just football.

Sincerely,
I Only Like You Because I Live Here