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Great article regarding Colts vs Pats next week.
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Old 25 Oct 2007, 09:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Great article regarding Colts vs Pats next week.

Quote:
Colts-Patriots tilt shaping as battle of Good vs. Evil

Patriots at Colts on Nov. 4 is shaping up to be one of the most attractive and exciting NFL regular-season games ever staged. The pairing is fabulous; the teams are the league's best; and there is a chance both will take the field undefeated. Plus, Patriots at Colts has a powerful, compelling narrative. Namely -- Good vs. Evil.

The fact that I don't even need to tell you which team represents Good and which stands for Evil says a lot about how low New England has sunk. You knew instantly which was which, didn't you?

Argument for the Indianapolis Colts as paladins who carry the banner of that which is beneficent: Sportsmanship, honesty, modesty, devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter. The Colts are the defending champions, so they obviously play well on the field. Yet after winning the Super Bowl, they have remained humble and appealing. Through prior years of postseason frustration, they never complained or pointed the finger outside their team. Their players are active in community affairs and don't carp about being assigned to a nonglamorous Farm Belt city with an antiquated stadium. Their coach, Tony Dungy, smiles in public and answers honestly whatever he is asked: He never yells at players or grimaces at bad plays and, when defeated, doesn't act as though it's the end of the world. Although religious, Dungy said on the night he won the Super Bowl that God doesn't care about football games, which shows perspective. The team's star, Peyton Manning, stands for love of family, constantly appearing in public with his brothers, father and mother. Manning is happily married and a major donor to a children's hospital. Manning spends a lot of time at children's camps and events, and he constantly makes fun of himself. Ladies and gentlemen, representing Good, the Indianapolis Colts.

Argument for the New England Patriots as scoundrels in the service of that which is baleful: Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success. The Patriots have three Super Bowl rings, but that jewelry is tarnished by their cheating scandal. They run up the score to humiliate opponents -- more on that below -- thus mocking sportsmanship. Their coach snaps and snarls in public, seeming to feel contempt for the American public that has brought him wealth and celebrity. Victory seems to give Bill Belichick no joy, and defeat throws him into fury. Belichick and the rest of the top of the Patriots' organization continue to refuse to answer questions about what was in the cheating tapes -- and generally, you refuse to answer questions if you have something to hide. The team has three Super Bowl triumphs, yet its players regularly whine about not being revered enough. The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking celebrity-chaser who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent. That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something." The Patriots seem especially creepy at this point because we still don't know whether they have told the full truth about the cheating scandal -- or even whether they really have stopped cheating. They say they have, but their word is not exactly gold at this juncture. Ladies and gentlemen, representing Evil, the New England Patriots.

In the Good vs. Evil narrative of the Colts and Pats, running up the score is a telling factor: It reveals a team's sportsmanship or lack of same, and whether a team shows sportsmanship in public might offer insights into its character in private. New England is scoring so many points the Patriots offense looks like cherries and oranges spinning on a slot machine. The Flying Elvii stand plus-159 in net points, by far the best scoring margin in the NFL. This is supposed to be impressive. But I think it's creepy, and New England's creepy on-field behavior is only underscoring the seediness of the Beli-Cheat scandal.

On Sunday, the Patriots led the winless Dolphins 42-7 late in the third quarter, yet Tom Brady was still behind center. And he wasn't just handing off the ball to grind the clock, either. Rather, he was back in the shotgun, still throwing to run up the score. Here is a summary of the Patriots' possession with a 42-7 lead late in the third and Brady, Randy Moss and the rest of their offensive starters on the field: Pass, run, pass, run, pass, pass. When backup quarterback Matt Cassel entered the game in the fourth quarter, with the Patriots leading 42-14 -- a margin larger than the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history (see below) -- did he hand off the ball to grind the clock? Here were Patriots' coaches first three calls: Run, pass, pass. Cassel's second pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, and Brady re-entered the game. Did he grind down the clock? Pass, pass, run, run, pass. The final score was 49-28.


The week before, New England led Dallas 42-27 and had second-and-goal on the Cowboys' 6-yard line with 1:43 remaining and Dallas out of timeouts. Three kneel-downs would have ended the game. But Belichick kept calling plays, frantic to run up the score -- including calling a play with 23 seconds remaining from the Dallas 1-yard line, resulting in a touchdown that made the final New England 48, Dallas 27. The Patriots then kicked off, and Dallas got the ball with 13 seconds remaining. Cowboys coach Wade Phillips showed the dignity Belichick lacked and ordered a kneel-down. Beyond defeating division-leading Dallas, New England has beaten six teams with a combined record of 11-27. In New England's six games against nonwinning teams, Belichick kept the starters in long after the outcome was decided, trying to run up the score. This doesn't just demonstrate Belichick has no class (although it certainly demonstrates that). It's worse -- this suggests something vindictive.

Yes, you can find games the Colts have won by a big margin in recent years, and yes, Manning was on the field through the fourth quarter at Jacksonville last night. But in that quarter, the Colts mainly ran to grind the clock: If they had wanted to win by more, they likely could have. As for New England's running up the score, supposedly the Patriots are angry about the Beli-Cheat scandal and are scoring points like crazy to express their anger against the world. Wait a moment: What right do the Patriots have to be angry? They, after all, are the ones who admitted to systematic cheating. Other people didn't impose that situation on them -- they cheated of their own free accord, imposing the tainting of their accomplishments on themselves. The Patriots were not wronged; they wronged others. Yet they're mad about being caught, and they seem to want to take out their bad feelings about themselves by embarrassing second-echelon teams. That bespeaks lack of character. That's Dark Side. That's Evil.

Suppose New England's version of events is true -- that Belichick is a fine person who made an honest mistake about rules that seemed clearly written to everyone else but somehow were confusing to him and that he regrets his honest mistake. If this were so, wouldn't Belichick be attempting to convince the world he is a good guy by showing sportsmanship at every turn? Instead, he is raising his middle finger to the rest of the NFL, to the sporting media, even to the NFL fans who made his wealth and celebrity possible. If he were a misunderstood man who regrets an honest mistake, wouldn't he be candid and open in public because making his life an open book would convince us he's sorry for what he did? Instead, in public, Belichick continues to glare, stonewall and act offended that mere mortals dare to address him. There is not the slightest hint that Belichick is sorry for what he did -- only sorry he got caught. Innocent people falsely accused crave the recovery of their reputation, working hard to convince the world they are good. Creepy people who think they can get away with something act belligerent and show poor sportsmanship, which is what Belichick is doing right now.

Since Belichick took over the Patriots and began the franchise's remarkable run, he and his team have been praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised; criticized when it was discovered New England had engaged in what commissioner Roger Goodell himself called "a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition"; then -- after about a week of criticism -- praised, praised, praised. This is not a sequence of experiences that would leave an honorable person angry at the world. Yet Belichick acts that way, and he appears to be encouraging anger in his players, which is itself unsportsmanlike.

Perhaps you can say in Belichick's defense that the modern American ethos encourages us all to feel sorry for ourselves -- so much so that even someone to whom football has brought wealth, celebrity and Super Bowl rings can tell himself he's a victim. Perhaps you can say in Belichick's defense that claiming victim status is a solid psychological ploy for the New England players -- who are not to blame for their coach's cheating, which they most likely did not know was happening. The New England players still might suffer some long-term harm from the cheating, though: Given the image New England is projecting, would you want Patriots' players endorsing your product?

But if the Patriots are unfairly maligned, why the whole screw-you act they are staging? If the Patriots were unfairly maligned, they'd be trying hard to convince us their hearts are pure, and that distinctly is not what they are doing. Sure, many New England players are awesome performers: Both of Moss' touchdown catches Sunday came when he was double-teamed; the Flying Elvii offensive line was flawless again; Mike Vrabel, waived by Pittsburgh, might be the best linebacker in the NFL. But if the Patriots are so awesome they don't need to cheat, then why were they cheating in Week 1? The whole situation remains creepy. Should New England continue on and win the Super Bowl without a major attitude shift toward nice-guy behavior -- and should the year end without the NFL's ever explaining what New England evidence it destroyed or why -- there could be a huge amount of cynicism about this NFL season. Cynicism doesn't sell a sports product, nor is it what the NFL should be marketing to the young.

That's why the Pats at Colts game Nov. 4 so clearly represents Good vs. Evil. The Colts stand for everything the NFL, and sports enthusiasts, should be proud of. The Colts stand for a positive future for the NFL. The Patriots stand for -- well, wouldn't it be nice if the Patriots would explain to us what they stand for. When Good meets Evil, I know who I'll be rooting for.
espn.com

It's a bit of a lengthy read, but it's refreshing to see someone who isn't sucking the Patriots off and completely enamored with them running up the score.

I know this matchup isn't until next weekend, but I'm pulling for the Colts.

Also, as a Cowboys fan...this really pains me to say, but this week I'm pulling for the Redskins I hate the Redskins, but my disdain for the Patriots is running that deep that I'll root for the bitter rival of my beloved Cowboys

I feel dirty...I need a shower
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Old 26 Oct 2007, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's actually quite a good read. Surprising that it's off of ESPN.com.

But yeah, that's certainly the national perception amongst sports fans, and quite honestly, not without reason. Those are all excellent points, and quite honestly, it points out the fact that when we hate on the cheating gaytriots...we're not just trying to be dicks or something...rather we're reflecting the national frame of mind.

But that's a good read, 57!CK. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 27 Oct 2007, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Very good read....but the Colts won't be unbeaten when they play the Patriots tho...b/c the Panthers will take care of them this Sunday.
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Old 27 Oct 2007, 10:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That...that's some funny shit right there...

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Old 28 Oct 2007, 03:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So Carolina fucking sucks....Go Colts next week...fuck the patriots
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