What's the secret to the Patriots' amazing 10-game playoff win streak? The defense? The QB? The running game? The coaching?
None of the above, says the CHB today. It's the attitude.
It seems the CHB simply updated his Jan. 7 column, substituting the word "respect" for any reference to "disrepect" in that piece. Now, everyone in the NFL "respects" the Patriots. Wow, how things change in 48 hours.
Thrown in: For the third straight column, the Mailman accuses the Pats of having thrown their season-ending game in order to ensure a first-round matchup with the Jaguars. "They did not have the luxury that Belichick had on New Year's Day. They could not dictate the identity of their opponent for the next playoff game" and "Obviously he knew what he was doing when he tanked the Miami game and set up a first-round match with the softies from Jacksonville." Would someone please alert the NFL office! No, wait, someone call my bookie!
History lesson no. 1: "If you are a young sports fan in our region, know this: It does not get any better than what we are seeing in this latter half of the 2005-06 Patriots season." I guess nine straight NBA titles and 11 in 13 years just isn't what it used to be.
History lesson no. 2: "The Patriots in 2005-06 are like the 1969 Bill Russell Celtics, who finished in fourth place but won the NBA championship, beating the Chamberlain-West-Baylor Lakers on the road in Game 7." More regurgitation from Dan's Dec. 19 column.
History lesson no. 3: "I prefer to remember the Monday night game the Patriots won in Denver Nov. 3, 2003, just a few days after Grady Little spit the bit in Yankee Stadium." So now it's Little's fault? That's not what you said just a few weeks after that game: "Think Schilling would blow a 5-2 lead in the eighth against the Yankees, then throw his manager under the bus?"
Memory lane no. 1: "A lot of us were hoping for an immediate matchup with the Colts in the RCA Dome next weekend." Remind me, who was it who just three weeks ago announced that the Pats would beat Indy this week? Oh yeah, him.
Memory lane no. 2: "That was in the middle of the season when the Patriots went 14-2 and won their second Super Bowl in three years, squashing theories that they were one-year wonders." Right, yours included.
Memo to Joe Sullivan: This piece's lack of analysis is superseded only by its lack of originality. Want a tip on improving your budget and your coverage? Fire this self-plagiarist and use the money to hire a couple of young, smart reporters. The sports desk -- and greater Boston -- will thank you.