He starts off with some notion that there is blind allegiance to Bill Belichick. What? The coach has won three Super Bowls and his decisions have turned out to be on target more often than not. So is it really that absurd to conclude that "His Hoodiness" has built up some immunity and good will? Even Shaughnessy admits that he was calling for Cassel to be cut at the end of preseason...Belichick turned out to make a pretty good decision by sticking with him, didn't he? Belichick has certainly earned some benefit of the of the doubt over the years although that should not be confused with "blind allegiance" and the insipid attack at the beginning of today's column.
That being said, Shaughnessy has every right to examine and question the merits of this trade as (unfortunately for us) that is his job. But he can't seem to make a coherent, consistent point. He starts off with this blind allegiance b.s. but then drifts to this statement "Intellectually and strategically, this deals makes sense" But then in the very next paragraph, he goes back on the trade and says it could be the football equivalent of Varitek and Lowe for Slocumb. Yet, then he goes back to the idea that the Patriots have always been ruled by what makes sense on the field--no place for emotion. (Isn't that the way a good business is supposed to be run?) Yet, later he says "saying goodbye to Cassel is particularly risky." Wait, what? I guess no matter how this turns out for the Patriots, Shaughnessy can look back to this little gem of a column and say "I told you so."
Shaughnessy concludes with the biggest head scratcher of them all by suggesting that Bill Parcells is somehow behind the scenes on this one by virtue of the fact that he is the father in law of Pioli? ("There is a smell of tuna in the air.") Shaughnessy, what the hell are you talking about? Parcells has been Pioli's father in law for years...are you suggesting that Pioli has been working to undermine the Patriots for all these years? Or now that he is free of the clutches of Belichick that he is going to suddenly conspire with Parcells to screw the Patriots? And exactly how are they going to conspire to do this? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There is a smell of crap in the air and it's emanating from our self-plagiarizing, lazy, incoherent front page columnist.