Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just Win Baby!

Because that is all it will take for Dan to change his tune.

On Friday, it was claims that ring hollow, a missing team owner, and an arrogant organization. Three days after "one of the most impressive victories of his storied career", it is comparisons to Auerbach and "see you in Arizona in February."

What happened to that brave columnist Joe Sullivan so loved? Dan is simply sitting at his desk with his finger in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing. There is no chance that Dan's column would have sounded anything like today's if the Patriots had lost.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Pain Deepens

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.

Paragraph Four:
"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."

Paragraph Seventeen:
"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."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Double Feature Dan

Dan treats us to a double feature today:

- A nice look at Clay Bucholz' no-hitter. Shaughnessy always does a decent job with covering the classic feel-good moments - stories which can't be tainted with his cynicism or that are not vulnerable to his incessant and annoying flip-flopping. He hearkens back to the 1967 start of rookie Billy Rohr, who took a no-hitter into the 9th against the Yankees. (For a very nice review of Billy Rohr's game, go here.)

- An opinion piece on Rodney Harrison and his admission that he used HGH. Shaughnessy argues that no matter how hard we may try to dress it up and rationalize Harrison's use of HGH, that we can't get away from the fact that Harrison was cheating, pure and simple. Shaughnessy's point is a good one but anytime questionable things such as this happen with the Pats, Shaughnessy just can't resist the urge to say in essence, "See, the Patriots are no different than any other NFL team." (That line of thinking most recently used when the Pats signed Randy Moss) My thought is that he already declared the end of that stand-up Patriots mystique when they signed Moss so CHB should be banned from declaring another end to it - it's like double jeopardy...

Hope everyone has a nice Labor Day weekend


Dave M