Memo to Patriots fans: Deflategate is your friend. It has given birth to absolute truths that serve only to magnify and solidify that local notion that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are 10 times better and smarter than every other NFL team.A decent enough column ensues from here (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band lyrics aside), but I think Shank overstates something towards the end:
The first-place, 3-0 Patriots will enjoy a well-deserved day of rest Sunday, but a message has been delivered to NFL America. It is not a comforting missive for the 31 franchises that hoped to prosper when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on the Team Everyone Loves to Hate. The Patriots are on a mission. They are kicking butt and taking names. The 2016 Patriots are waging war on the rest of the NFL and the commissioner who overly punished them for driving 68 in a 65-mile-per-hour zone.
This cannot be a great feeling for Brady. Deflategate has established that any Jimmy, Jacoby or Matt can play quarterback for the Patriots and still win. Belichick and the Patriot Way are the big winners.I don't think you can use a three game span like the most recent one and dismiss the contributions of one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history.
On second thought, since I don't feel like erasing the previous sentence, Shank's not dismissing Brady, he's simply discounting it and attributing the team's success to the team. Seriously, it didn't kill me just now to agree with Shank! Still, I think that point's fairly debatable.
Points awarded to Shank for being consistent on this point (not Deflategate as a whole, where he once called Tom Brady a cheater and gave it its own column):
The Patriots would secede from the NFL if they had anywhere elso to go, but they don’t. They will settle for winning another Super Bowl and rubbing everyone’s face in the dirt. Tom Brady is taking his punishment and it’s Scorched Earth Time here in Hatriot Nation. Our long national nightmare is over.Back to the original column:
Feel the fire. Embrace the hate. Deflategate is the Patriots’ friend.Did Shank just channel the Emperor from Star Wars?