Monday, January 09, 2006

The Mailman Always Writes Twice

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.

More mailtime:

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Memo to Joe Sullivan: This piece's lack of analysis is superseded only by its lack of originality.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.


shawn said...

"Chew over the October loss if you want. I prefer to remember the Monday night game the Patriots won in Denver Nov. 3, 2003"

With cherry-picking of this nature, it's time to attack the tree with Washington-like deliberation. That's right folks, Shank has divined that the only thing that matters this weekend is the result of a game that took place 803 days ago.

What *I* prefer to look at is that Brady and Bill are only 1-2 against Shanahan.

Yes, the October loss was when we didn't have Seymour and Bruschi and the Denver RB went hog-wild on us. (Will we have Bruschi next week?) Yes, the team is by and large playing much better than they were then. But there are still troubling signs. The secondary is no longer in disarray - but it isn't solid. Until his interception, Asante Samuel looked tired and slow out there. Thankfully Jake the Snake is less of a threat to beat you with his arm than Leftwich was. Brady looked flustered through most of the first half, and showed poor judgement on several of his throws. Here's hoping Charlie Weis shows up next week and can calm Tom down some.

"Think Mike Shanahan wanted any part of them?"

Yeah. I think he kinda does. (BTW, thanks for delivering such great locker room fodder. Moron.)

If you had told me that team in October would have a decent shot advance to the AFC championship game, I would have laughed. But they turned it around and we're playing with the house's money now. So I'm content, and optimistic, but not blind to the difficulties ahead. There are plenty of deep and compelling stories to write about without resorting to triteness. I will agree with Shank in that Belichick *is* as close to a football genius as we'll get in this era, but Danno needs reminding that execution is the key, and that's still why they actually play the game.

The Chief said...

Good thoughts, Shawn. And there's more tangible assessments about the team in your short post than in Dan's past three columns combined.