Through the years, when real-world issues have visited the Sports Department, there have been some bad stories. Some of them strained the limits of believability. Others were simply sad.It gets better:
Harry Agganis and Reggie Lewis died while they were in their 20s. Len Bias killed himself via cocaine intoxication before he played a game for the Celtics. The Patriots lost a Super Bowl, then revealed an in-house drug scandal. Tony Conigliaro had his career cut short by a beanball, then suffered a stroke and died at the age of 45. Rocky Marciano died in a plane crash. Ted Williams’s head was separated from his body and cryogenically frozen in the hours after his death.
More than a few of our professional athletes have landed on the police blotter. Players who were cheered at Fenway, Foxboro, and the Garden turned out to be gun-toters, wife beaters, drunks, drug abusers, thieves, and deadbeat dads.
But there has never been anything like this.
Please. No need piling on the franchise here. Hernandez’s associates and alleged actions are not the Patriots’ fault. But at a time when “Patriot Way” has become a sickening parody of its own mythical origins, New England’s front office needs to stop with the self-congratulation.So, what does Shank do later on in the column? He piles on, of course!
The Hernandez saga brings up questions about the collective judgment of a conservative franchise that typically does exhaustive research before making the smallest decisions. How did the Patriots arrive at the conclusion that Hernandez was worthy of a $40 million contract extension, which included a $12.5 million signing bonus? Where were the background checks and red flags? What about Belichick’s deep roots with Hernandez’s college coach at Florida, Urban Meyer?I know that there are a few things worse than being a raving, disingenuous hypocrite; right now, I can't think of them...
UPDATE, 6/28/2013 at 10:45 AM - From reader Walter, with a rhetorical question:
"How out of touch are the folks over on Morrissey Boulevard?
For years the readers have been subjected to articles on the editorial page and by their Metro columnists urging Boston area corporations to hire disadvantaged youths with perhaps checkered backgrounds.
And yet, Robert Kraft / Bill Belichick did just that with Aaron Hernandez and now they are being blamed for it."