The worst part about the cheating scandal involving the Patriots was knowing that Shank would inevitably weigh in, bringing all his tired tropes into action.
He does not disappoint.
This statement pretty much sums up the column and Dan's view:
"There's a legion of people waiting to harpoon the arrogant New England organization, and this episode has armed Patriot critics with weapons they can use forever.
After the introduction, Dan "starts at the top" with Bob Kraft. Why? There has been no evidence that Kraft even knew of what was going on. But Dan has to use his lame "Amos Alonzo" bit.
Dan starts off asking, "Where is Kraft now?" He wastes a couple of paragraphs implying that Kraft should have stepped forward. It is only later that Shanks admits that "We can't expect Kraft to come forward during Rosh Hashanah." THEN WHY ASK WHERE HE IS, YOU SNAKE?
Next up Dan talks about the players. He states:
"Patriot players have long been reminded that their skills are almost irrelevant to the brilliant system that enables them to succeed. The message has been "most of you are interchangeable parts and we can win with other people if you choose to leave." Their achievements are minimized.
Dan, simple question: When has anybody in the organization made any such claim? It is sportswriters like you who state "In Bill We Trust" that have created and perpetuated this myth. If the players are unimportant, why did Belichick and Pioli completely overhaul the wide receivers this past offseason, getting one of the most talented receivers of all time? Why did the Patriots get the best defensive player in free agency? And where is all that money going? If the players are irrelevant, they shouldn't be paying them much, yet the Patriots are routinely at the cap.
More of the same bullshit when Dan writes:
"It's residue of seven years of coaches being reminded that they are stooges - they will lose to the Patriots because Belichick and his guys are smarter than everybody else.
It is this madeup bullshit that infuriates me when I read CHB. He falsely attributes some media created attitude to the teams or players themselves to get a better story.
Towards the end, Dan adds to the putridness by contradicting himself.
"There is no more gray area now. Those claims that "everybody does it" and "the Patriots didn't need surveillance to beat the Jets" ring hollow."
"It's not fair, of course. Videotaping the other sideline is probably a tactic used by a lot of teams and no doubt it's been done for a long time. The competitive gain is certainly debatable and the punishment seems excessive, given that the Patriots had the misfortune to get caught."
Do the claims "ring hollow" or is it not fair? I'm confused.
And the cherry on top: A Nixon comparison. Yes, because compromising the integrity of a Presidential election and flouting the Constitution is comparable to stealing signals in a sporting event.
"It's a sad chapter in the long history of New England sports."
Something we can agree on. Although it would have been clearer if he had written "This column is a sad chapter in the long history of New England sports media."