Monday, September 25, 2006

Acquiring target. . .

Apparently having tired of writing ineffective stories about what a horrible person and GM Theo Epstein is, Dan has set his sights on the possibly the only other two men in Boston who fans have even less reason to dislike: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Hey, Dan? If you want to make people hate someone, you probably shouldn't pick three of the most popular guys in the city. You're setting yourself up for failure.

In this column, Dan communicates the urgent message that he thinks Belichick is an arrogant snot.
The Patriots dominate the rest of the NFL but stubborn Mike Shanahan simply won't sign on to the theory that he's supposed to lose because the New England organization is smarter and better-prepared.
This "smarter and better-prepared" rubbish is media hype, Dan. You are the media. You could stop perpetuating it, but that would also prevent you from unloading on Belichick, so I guess that's not actually a viable option.
It proves only that arrogant attrition can catch up with any organization. Sometimes it's actually the team with the better players that wins.
Arrogant attrition, huh? I can see the theme of this column: Bill Belichick is arrogant. Guess what: if anyone has a reason to be, it's him. When did you start channeling Ron Borges? One of each of you is too much.
There was more booing at Gillette Stadium and the Patriots truly look like a team in distress, but we'd do well to remember that New England's 2003 Super Bowl champs were pancaked by Buffalo, 31-0, in September.
Anybody who boos the Patriots 3 games into the season after all the success they've brought to the city is too stupid and ungrateful to be allowed to be a fan. Go back to your basements, guys. Mean? Yes. But these people really irritate me. It's like they're taking their Red Sox frustrations out on the football team or something.
All in all, not a great show. The game was scheduled to be broadcast early this morning in Beijing and one could easily see why several million Chinese might not give a damn. Given this sample of American football, new viewers in Asia might prefer something more along the lines of a Jerry Lewis Film Festival.
First of all, they might not give a damn because, as you said, it's early in the morning there and they all have to go to work. Of course, they might actually give a damn because the vast majority of stuff on Chinese state television is absolutely horrendous. It makes tonight's game look like the premiere of "The Godfather."
Not to be confused with the Scorpion Bowl at the Kowloon off Route 1, the China Bowl will be played in Beijing's Workers Stadium, the site of the soccer competition for the XXIX Olympics. You'll have to rise at 8:30 a.m. to catch the Patriots and Seahawks in what could be a rematch of Super Bowl XLI.
What a funny joke! Oh, wait, no it wasn't. This sounds vaguely racist to me, too, but perhaps I'm too cynical.

Also, getting up at 8:30? What a burden. Sigh.
It's hard to believe Coach Bill could be thrilled with the decision to fly halfway around the world during the Patriots' preseason. The vaunted New York Yankees spent two months complaining about jet lag after they opened their 2004 regular season in Japan.
Yes, because these situations and sports are so incredibly comparable! Baseball vs. football, regular season vs. preseason, rigorous schedule vs. one game a week, etc. Extremely comparable!
Mike Mussina still hasn't recovered.
OK, this is funny.
No word yet on whether Bob Kraft plans to show off a championship ring to Chinese president Hu Jintao, but the government officials no doubt will applaud Belichick's crackdown on free speech in the Patriot locker room.
He isn't seriously comparing Belichick's taciturn demeanor with the Chinese Communist Party, is he? What a horrendous comparison. Why don't we compare their roster management with the Tian'anmen Square massacre? That would also be incredibly appropriate, sensitive, and rich in historical perspective.
Coach Bill was in boring overdrive after the spanking.
Oh, I get it. He's arrogant AND he gives you bad soundbites! And he's successful! Just like Theo! I see the pattern here!
It gets tougher before it gets easier. Next week the Patriots go to Cincinnati to face the 3-0 Bengals. Coach Bill says they have to play better.
What is the point of the last sentence other than to drive home the point that the columnist is really petty and immature?

Please leave the Patriot-bashing beat to your friend Ron Borges, Dan. I can't take this. If we put the two of you together, we'd have the worst football columnist on the planet. Has Borges apologized for criticizing the Richard Seymour draft pick yet?


Anonymous said...

The CHB surely must know that nobody calls Gillette Stadium "the Razor," right?

Beth said...

i apologize, but i cannot even read your blog post about this hatchet job, let alone the column itself. it will ruin my morning. but i'm sure you did a good job debunking it.

The Chief said...

Classic. Here's what The CHB wrote on Feb. 7, 2005, following the Patriots’ third Super Bowl Win:

"The University of Belichick takes its rightful place alongside Harvard and MIT. And the New England Patriots of the 21st century are established as an NFL dynasty on par with the Packers of the 1960s, the Steelers of the '70s, the 49ers of the '80s, and the Cowboys of the '90s.”

Jenny is right: The media created and perpetuated this notion of Belichick being an Einstein of football, then have turned around and tried to cut him down ever since.

Maybe someday Shaughnessy will accidentally provide some insight about the game. Probably not, though, as that would require him to actually watch it.

Anonymous said...

I liked his article today. And I usually do not.

dbvader said...

A typical Shank write-by-numbers. A strained reference to some baby boomer band; irrelevant and unfunny tangents to use up column inches; snide comments; and general attacks unsupported by any specifics. Dan smartly avoids ever discussing objective issues. He prefers to rely on abstract, subjective issues like how a player or coached is perceived. Thay way he can never be wrong and doesn't have to do any heavy lifting like research or analysis.

Anonymous said...

"It proves only that arrogant attrition can catch up with any organization."

Sounds like he's describing the state of the Globe sports department!

fadedredsoxhat said...

The media created and perpetuated this notion of Belichick being an Einstein of football...

And it got to the point where Belichick believes it. He bought into his own myth that he didn't win with stars. He won with his superior game planning which raised the level of players nobody else wanted.

I always enjoy reading Borges because he has never read from the NFL talking points. Felger, who usually repeats The Foxboro Fax, shocked me today with his column.

The Chief said...

faded, I don't watch that closely, but I can't think of anything in Belicheck's approach or behavior in the time that he's been here as head coach that suggests he has changed his approach, despite (or because of) his/the team's success. I'm not necessarily a fan, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate anyone who coaches three championships in four years. I think he's earned the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

I think that once again this is a classic case of refusing to look at any part of the big picture.

Let's take a look at the three big names who have left this year.
1. McGinest: 4 tackles in 3 games for a bad Browns team. (hmmm, seems like he might have been let go just at the right time).

2. Vinatieri: Overpaid for by the Colts, now is going to miss a few games due to injuries. (hmmm, seems to me the Pats let HIM go just at the right moment too).

3. Branch: Wildly overvalued by the Seahawks (giving up a first round pick for him). Deion is a good reciever but not even close to being worth a first rounder.
And the Pats still got the pick they wanted.

Make no mistake that New England may struggle early this year. But they are really only going to need 10 and 6 to win the division. Yes Brady will need to get used to new recievers but remember, he won his first Super Bowl with Troy Brown, David Patten and Antowain Smith as his top three offensive weapons.

Lets allow the Pats to work this out before the media, and therefore the public, start giving up on this season. Let's hope that they all gain a little PERSPECTIVE!!! (meaning: its okay to loose a game to an out of division team that you historically have never played well against).

Everybody relax and please pull your friends and relatives off of the Tobin Bridge. It's just one loss and the Patriots have proven before that they will be fine.

The reality

objectivebruce said...

Belichick's lack of civility toward questions he doesn't like is legendary, and his performance after the Denver game was boorish to anyone with the slightest grounding in reality (as opposed to devoted loooove for ballplayers, coaches and managers).

Shaughnessy has a pretty good weekend, nailing the Pats' problems with Denver absolutely dead-on. But that column seems to have been ignored entirely.

Fishing in the archives are we? How about this one from last April scribbled by the blogger-in-chief:

Dan's latest mancrush is on Jonathan Papelbon, who according to The CHB is Dick Radatz all over again, writing: "The Sox haven't had a young closer like this since Dick Radatz." Similarly, on April 6, he wrote: [Papelbon] looked like Dick Radatz." Of course, Shaughnessy compares every hard-throwing Sox reliever with The Monster, so take that with the provebial [sic] grain of salt.

Yeah. Take it with 36 saves and a 0.92 ERA, too. But that's the thing about sports -- everything changes and opinions are based on recent and current performance. Nobody is always right; be it the columnist, the blogger or the objective one. That's why we watch the games.

Anonymous said...

And with that, objectivebruce goes back to finishing up the final edition of Tuesday's Globe before leaving Morrissey Blvd for the night.

jenny said...

Uh-oh, this blog seems to have flushed out one of the only living Ron Borges fans on the planet. Come on, faded. This is the guy who said Richard Seymour and Matt Light were bad draft picks and that they should have taken Kenyatta Walker. Well, how's that working out? And maybe he doesn't parrot the NFL talking points, but he has a personal vendetta against Belichick, and he's admitted as much on the radio.

I don't know about the rest of you, but 3 Super Bowls in 5 years gives Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the Patriots a TON of rope with me. They would have to finish 4-12 this season for me to start criticizing in earnest. But maybe I'm a fangirl.

Anonymous said...

You know maybe I'm just too young, and by that I mean under the age of 30, but comparing Papelbon to Radatz really kinda shows me just how out of touch with this generation Dan really is. I never saw him play but I am old enough to remember some of the other good closers that we've had. Examples include Lee Smith, Jeff Reardon, Tom Gordon, and yes, even Derek Lowe. Oh yeah and then there was that Foulke guy who basically saved our bullpen in a playoff series not too long ago.

But you know thats just me, I guess I just don't have any respect for the past.

fadedredsoxhat said...

Borges is best when he's attacking the system. If I were an NFL player, I would be leading a movement to get Gene Upshaw out and Donald Fehr in. Money is no object. I'm a big opponent of Sports Socialism - local revenue sharing, salary caps, luxury taxes, even the draft - and the NFLPA should have taken a stand against it earlier this year when they had the chance. The NFL is the richest league but the players have the worst deal.

I know of a Belichick story from his Cleveland days that has kept me far away from the "In Bill, We Trust" bandwagon and he has done things at New England that have rubbed me the wrong way. I don't know what exactly Borges' problem is.

objectivebruce said...

Comparing Papelbon's '06 to Radatz in his heyday is an apt comparison. There has been nothing like it in the club's history.
Not Lee Smith.
Not Jeff Reardon.
Not Tom Gordon.
Not Derek Lowe.
Not Keith Foulke.
and not Mike Fornieles, Bob Stanley or Boo Ferris, either.

There's never been an expectation of success experienced when a Red Sox reliever takes the mound like that seen with Papelbon this year since Radatz. In baseball, to ignore history is to be ignorant.

Still waiting for an iota of evidence that I do now, or have ever, worked for the Globe. I don't and I haven't. Just because I take exception to moronic commentary does not me a Globe employee.

And I'm glad little Jenny admits that in football, like in baseball, she is a big golly-gee-whiz fan.

Makes her lack of perspective so much more understandable.

Anonymous said...

Just checked the statistics on Radatz, Lowe, Smith, Gordon, Foulke, and Paplebon. Paplebon's 06 season is far and away the best season a Red Sox closer has ever had according to The next three best seasons were posted by Radatz in 63, Foulke 04 (when that pesky CURSE was broken), and Gordon in 98. Remember that Lowe was also a very good closer and both Reardon and Smith and separate points held the all time saves lead.

Radatz was extremely good. In 1963. My point with the previous comment is that Dan's writing style refuses to modernize. Now that might be good for some but it really irritates us younger folks. I am twenty-five and have lived and died by both the Sox and the Pats. When Dan refuses to give us a reference to a modern, LIVING example of what he's talking about it is very frustrating.
I think, Bruce, if you look at most of us who post here that has been a recurring theme of what we are trying to say. It is agravating trying to read a major columnist in one of the biggest papers in the country and have him constantly throwing out these dated references. It makes him look lazy.

But you can disagree with me if you want. After all i'm just someone who "ignores history" and is "ignorant".

The Chief said...

Bruce's mutterings aside, Papelbon's seasons ranks among the top handful all-time for relievers. according to Baseball Prospectus. It far surpassed anything Radatz did. Furthermore, the point, which Bruce tries to obscure, is that Shaughnessy jumps to unreal conclusions based on very little data, and as such is prone to wild predictions and even wilder errors (e.g., "The Red Sox will win the 2005 AL East.")

Shaughnessy, and I'm paraphrasing here, is stuck on some relief pitcher from the '60s. How many others before Papelbon did he compare to Radatz only to turn out to be Schiraldis?

Finally, comparing Paps to Radatz turned out to be a huge insult -- to Paps.

dbvader said...

I agree with you about the NFL CBA. The problem with Borges is that he fails to distinguish between the problems with the CBA and how teams negotiate. He attacks the Patriots for their negotiating tactics (signing rookies for five years, hesitating to tear up contracts), but he fails to emphasize that they are playing within the rules of the CBA and are not alone. He should start attacking Gene Upshaw for rolling over for the NFL instead of attacking a team that is doing nothing wrong. Because of his animus towards the Patriots (and love for all things Raiders), his criticism is wildly misplaced.

You must have done pretty bad on reading comprehension in school. The writer was making the point that Shank's reference to a pitcher from 40 years ago was not particularly relevant to anyone under the age of 50. But in his defense, it was probably the last time Shank ever bothered to pay attention.

objectivebruce said...

Anyone who doesn't appreciate Radatz is frightfully uniformed, irrespective of age.

This rush to condemn any historical perspective smacks more of laziness -- intellectual and actual -- than anything else.

dbvader said...

Go back to watching old episodes of "sportswriters on TV." Those cigar smoking fossils seem more your speed.
There is a marked difference between being able to appreciate something by looking up statistics and reading a few anectdotes and appreciating something because you saw it in person and lived through the whole season amazed at a certain performance. There aren't even very many clips played of Radatz so that people can appreciate his power and unique delivery. There is no emotional attachment like watching a player's season, e.g. Gordan's consecutive save streak. I am sure the distinction was missed by you anyways.
And don't talk to me about laziness when you defend the laziest writer in all America after Ken Powers, you spell-checking monkey.

The Chief said...

Radatz had three good years followed by four lousy ones. I sure as hell hope that's not what we see out of Papelbon.

And I'm not one to let nostalgia get in the way of the facts. Gossage was more dominant and for a much longer period of time than was Radatz. If you're going to compare Papelbon to someone, that's the guy.

Monkeesfan said...

I'm still surprised no one among the suddenly-vast army of Belichick/Patriot haters has screamed what they truly think - BELICHICK AND KRAFT HAVE MORPHED INTO JEREMY JACOBS!

The whole arrogance argument is centered on the loss of Adam Vinitiari and Deion Branch, and no one in the MSM wants to come to grips that Vinitiari and Branch are the reason they aren't here, not the Patriots. Vinitiari, already overpaid as a kicker, wanted more, did not deserve more, and the Patriots refused to fall for it. Branch wanted to cancel the last year of his contract and get paid more than he's worth immediately; the Patriots refused to be bullied like that and got put in the impossible position of his preposterous holdout affecting the team, hence the sudden trade to Seattle.

The Patriots know that the old "overspend now" model that Shank et al apparantly want to adopt (and which a few teams still adhere to, such as the Colts) doesn't work anymore.