For those of you who are not New England Patriots fans, you have likely been sickened by the continuous coverage of the Patriots perfect season. Actually, allow me to step back for a moment, and consider that some readers of this blog may be actual Patriots fans. To you I say:
Its not enough that the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is an ongoing topic on ESPN Sportscenter and radio from March until October, but now da’ Sox have found a way to overcome history and win the World Series twice out of the past five years. While I typically suppress any thoughts about the NBA, I have to include the Boston Celtics in my Boston Professional Sports Team Cluster-Fuck blog-post, because they are resembling a championship contending team. The Celtics aquired Kevin Garnett and James Posey in the offseason, creating a trifecta with Paul Pierce that will push them into the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
So, back to the Patriots….
The Pat’s are 11-0 with a very contentious 31-28 win over the Donovon McNabb-less Philly Eagles. Everything about this game gave the universe every opportunity to conduct itself in a judicious manner:
- The Patriots were 10-0, destroying teams, and being called the “greatest NFL team of all time” with pundits projecting a 19-0 finish–spoiling the 1972 Miami Dolphins perfect season.
- The Patriots were favored by 23.5 points over the Eagles, a new point spread record for the NFL.
- The Eagles all-pro QB, Donovan McNabb, was injured–replaced by journeyman, Jay Feely removing an semblance of hope for an upset.
- Every sports fan outside of the Boston metro area would love nothing more than to see Tom Brady’s pretty boy face smashed into the turf by Brian Dawkins, as the Patriot’s prospects of breaking the record for a perfect season are ruined by a giant underdog.
- A Patriots team who was marred by scandal over much of their season, as an NFL investigation revealed that the Patriots were videoing opposing teams signals. Bill Belichick, the dirty sweatsuit-wearing protege of the Bill Parcells regime–the anointed “Evil Genius” of the NFL–had been branded a Cheater. For all that is good and ‘holy’ they needed to lose.
For 56 minutes the Eagles gave New England everything it could handle, playing stellar defense and executing a game plan that took advantage of a soft zone defense. The Eagles defense did something unprecedented for this season: it pressured Tom Brady, sacking him 4 times, and harassing him all night. Randy Moss, enjoying a career Renaissance, was man handled at the line of scrimmaged and double-teamed all night.
For much of the game, I had hope…as the Eagles forced the Patriots into uncharacteristic miscues, such as false starts and dropped passes. For a moment, I had hope…suddenly, the universe didn’t seem so driven by the cold, cruel hand of nature and reason. This game would be the universes atonement for the success of a team that appeared driven by the same cold calculating hand that governs our existence.
The Eagles had kept itself in the game, down 31-28, with the ball and 6 minutes to tie or take the lead. They converted 3rd downs, and took advantage of soft coverage on 1st downs to rip off chunks of yardage and appear to give themselves an opportunity to steal this game.
Alas, Jay Feely, despite one of the best games of his career, made a horrible decision….overthrowing Kevin Curtis on a skinny post, laying the ball into Asante Samuels hands for an interception. There wasn’t even an opportunity for a tie and the continued hope provided by overtime.
I knew it…we all knew it. Every time the Patriots were given a window, every football fan knew that they would likely walk right through it.
The Universe teased us, made us believe that the annoying success of the Patriots would suffer a brief hiccup, and it beat us into the ground.
FUCK THE PATRIOTS!
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